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Author Topic: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)  (Read 48138 times)

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2016, 08:23:58 AM »
AGC steps in as studios seek illegal downloaders
17 August 2016 | Irene Tham, Tech Editor

The Hollywood studio which previously went after Singapore residents who had illegally downloaded the film Dallas Buyers Club has now set its sights on those who had done the same for another movie.

But the authorities here are stepping in to ensure "no abuse of process". The movie in question this time is Fathers & Daughters, a 2015 movie which stars Russell Crowe.

Voltage Pictures, which is represented by local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corp, had sought last year to get Singapore telcos to release the details of Singapore subscribers found to have illegally downloaded Dallas Buyers Club.

Now Voltage Pictures and another Hollywood studio, QOTD Film Investment, which produced Queen Of The Desert, starring Nicole Kidman, are seeking the details of those who had downloaded the two movies without permission. Voltage is acting through Fathers & Daughters Nevada LLC in this case, with the same Singapore law firm representing the studios.

The Straits Times (ST) understands that the two studios have identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses through which the two movies were allegedly downloaded. The IP addresses were used by Singtel, StarHub and M1 subscribers.

Yesterday, a pre-trial conference was held in the High Court, with the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) represented at the hearing.

An AGC spokesman told ST it is considering intervening in the various originating summonses filed this time around by the law firm to ensure that there is no abuse of process. For instance, lawyers cannot breach ethical guidelines by carrying a threat of criminal proceedings in their letter of demand.

On Monday, the AGC sent a letter to Samuel Seow Law Corp to clarify the studios' intentions, particularly the amount of damages they are seeking and how they arrived at the amount.

A spokesman for the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore said it has reviewed the positions taken in jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, Britain and the United States. The courts in these places had imposed certain safeguards before granting the request for subscriber details to be released, she said.

"While content owners have the right to enforce their intellectual property rights, this should be done in a way that builds legitimacy and respect for the entire process, and is not susceptible to allegations of abuse," she said.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/tech/agc-steps-in-as-studios-seek-illegal-downloaders



August 2016:

Plaintiff:
FATHERS & DAUGHTERS NEVADA, LLC
(SEOW THENG BENG SAMUEL / SOH XING LONG, RON ALVIN)
(SAMUEL SEOW LAW CORPORATION)

Defendants:
1. M1 CONNECT PTE LTD
(CHAN KWOK CHUAN JASON / NICHOLAS ONG WEI LUN)(AMICA LAW LLC)
2. M1 LIMITED
(CHAN KWOK CHUAN JASON / NICHOLAS ONG WEI LUN) (AMICA LAW LLC)
_________________

Plaintiff:
FATHERS & DAUGHTERS NEVADA, LLC
(SEOW THENG BENG SAMUEL / SOH XING LONG, RON ALVIN)
(SAMUEL SEOW LAW CORPORATION)

Defendants:
1. SINGAPORE TELECOMMUNICATIONS LIMITED (UNREPRESENTED)
2. SINGNET PTE LTD (UNREPRESENTED)
3. SINGTEL MOBILE SINGAPORE PTE. LTD (UNREPRESENTED)
_________________

Plaintiff
FATHERS & DAUGHTERS NEVADA, LLC
(SEOW THENG BENG SAMUEL / SOH XING LONG, RON ALVIN)(SAMUEL SEOW LAW CORPORATION)

Defendants:
1. STARHUB CABLE VISION LTD (Lim Yee Ming)(KELVIN CHIA PARTNERSHIP)
2. STARHUB INTERNET PTE LTD (Lim Yee Ming)(KELVIN CHIA PARTNERSHIP)
3. STARHUB LTD (Lim Yee Ming)(KELVIN CHIA PARTNERSHIP)⁠⁠⁠⁠

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2016, 10:29:57 AM »
>Hi Dr Green,
>I am a member of the Dallas Buyers Club support group. I read that Foxtrot had done tests that show that the forensic >evidence collected by DBC is invalid. Can you please send me information on that?
>I'm just interested in how they did it.
>Thanks and best regards,


1. The forensic evidence against DBC LLC is currently a trade secret which shall be disclosed (via a competent expert forensic witness) under these circumstances:

(a) An affected subscriber takes DBC LLC to the court and/or when
(b) DBC LLC / SSLC takes one of the affected subscriber to the court.


2. However, you may find some useful information within these materials:

(a) Shinder, D. L., & Cross, M. (2008). Scene of the Cybercrime*, Second Edition (2nd edition). Burlington, MA: Syngress, http://amzn.to/2bojOMw
(b) BitTorrent Specification (Basic): https://wiki.theory.org/BitTorrentSpecification

(c) BitTorrent Enhancement Proposals (Advanced): http://www.bittorrent.org/beps/bep_0000.html


Foxtrot c/o Dr. Green


« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 09:14:35 AM by greentara »

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2016, 05:14:25 AM »
Don't punish innocent Internet users
PUBLISHED AUG 20, 2016, 5:00 AM SGT

The Internet Society (Singapore Chapter) views with concern and interest the various news reports that the rights owners of two Hollywood movies - Queen Of The Desert and Fathers And Daughters - have started legal proceedings against illegal downloaders here and are seeking pretrial disclosure of Internet protocol (IP) addresses.

While we do not condone copyright infringement, we are concerned that a potentially large number of lawsuits may be filed on the basis of IP addresses sought.

Recent cases from other jurisdictions have ruled that IP addresses do not sufficiently identify which individuals committed copyright infringement.

It is entirely plausible that some of the IP addresses may belong to innocent home or business owners who were not aware that their IP addresses were used or who may have not secured their networks sufficiently at the material time.

We question the fairness of subjecting them to the stress and cost in time and money of defending themselves against legal claims.

We are pleased that the Attorney-General's Chambers has indicated that it will oversee the process to prevent abuse ("AGC steps in as studios seek illegal downloaders"; Wednesday).

We note also that our previous complaint to the Law Society regarding letters of demand sent to alleged downloaders of the movie Dallas Buyers Club resulted in the Law Society finding that the letters sent by the law firm did infringe the Law Society's ethical standard, by threatening criminal proceedings, fines and prison time against people who they accused of pirating that film.

The Law Society's findings imposed a penalty of $10,000 or reprimand upon the law firm.

Since the acts of those lawyers in question were adjudged to have crossed acceptable boundaries, we have asked the Law Society to advise on the status of the alleged infringers.

A clear determination by the Law Society may help delineate the boundaries of acceptable conduct by lawyers and law firms here.

Finally, while the rights holders appear to be preparing to sue individuals, we suggest using the blocking provisions that were added to the Singapore Copyright Act last year. They are a self-help remedy to stop massively infringing sites, and will avoid mistakenly targeting innocent Internet users.

In conclusion, while we support the rights of copyright owners, we urge caution so that innocent Internet users are not adversely affected by their actions.

Ang Peng Hwa (Professor)
President
Internet Society (Singapore Chapter)

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/dont-punish-innocent-internet-users

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2016, 05:17:15 AM »
Authorities move to ensure illegal downloaders get fair process
Tan Weizhen | Published: 3:55 PM, September 20, 2016

SINGAPORE — In a first, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) are applying to the courts to intervene in proceedings involving rights owners of two movies going after illegal downloaders here, to ensure a fair process. If allowed, they want to put in safeguards and conditions to avoid “allegations of abuse”, they said in a joint statement on Tuesday (Sept 20).

For example, in some countries, conditions are imposed on the letters of demand issued to subscribers, to ensure that the content is phrased in a way that does not cause undue alarm.

Last month, TODAY reported that the owners of the movies, Queen of the Desert and Fathers & Daughters, had started legal proceedings to go after those who illegally downloaded the movies here, the second such case here. Film studio Voltage Pictures, which produced Fathers & Daughters, had also gone after illegal downloaders of Dallas Buyers Club, which it produced, last year. Queen of the Desert is produced by QOTD. Both are represented by Samuel Seow Law Corporation (SSLC), which acted for Voltage Pictures in the Dallas Buyers Club case, and had drawn complaints over how two of its former lawyers had handled the proceedings. 

In the statement, IPOS and AGC said: “(We) are of the view that whilst content owners have the right to enforce their intellectual property, this should be done in a way that builds legitimacy and respect for the entire process, and is not susceptible to allegations of abuse.”

Abusive practices include “speculative invoicing”, also known as “copyright trolling”, where a party pursues quick settlements from alleged copyright infringers, by launching legal action against them and taking advantage of their reluctance to pursue their rights fully before the courts, said IPOS.

Adding that they had reviewed the positions taken in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US in similar cases, IPOS and AGC said: “We will be asking the courts to consider imposing similar safeguards and conditions, if we are allowed to intervene.” IPOS said it was inappropriate to comment on the precise safeguards and conditions being sought at this point. But it noted that in the Australian case involving the producers of Dallas Buyers Club and Internet service provider iiNet, the court ordered that the draft of the letters to be sent to iiNet’s subscribers be submitted to the court for its consideration.

In April last year, SSLC succeeded in getting the court to compel telcos to give up details of their customers who purportedly downloaded the movie Dallas Buyers Club, and filed civil claims against these customers.

But two months later, the Internet Society (Singapore) filed a complaint with the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), alleging that Mr Robert Raj Joseph and Mr Lee Heng Eam, who were with SSLC then, had issued letters threatening criminal proceedings against the alleged downloaders, to advance the civil claims. This goes against the LawSoc’s Practice Directions and Rulings Guide, which states that it is improper for a solicitor to “communicate in writing or otherwise a threat of criminal proceedings in order to achieve a stated objective in any circumstance”. In May, LawSoc said it was taking action against two lawyers over their conduct in dealing with illegal downloaders of Dallas Buyers Club, without naming the lawyers.

Intellectual property lawyers who spoke to TODAY welcomed it as a move to ensure a fair process.

Mr Jason Chan, director of Amica Law, said: “If the court makes certain orders arising from the positions taken by AGC and IPOS ... future rights owners will definitely have to be aware of what happened in this case here.”

Mr Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons, who became president of the Internet Society (Singapore) last month, agreed, noting that the latest case with Queen of the Desert and Fathers & Daughters has a similar modus operandi as the Dallas Buyers Club case.

Other safeguards that could be introduced in such proceedings include setting a limit on the amount of damages that could be claimed, said the lawyers.

A pre-trial conference on the Queen of the Desert and Fathers & Daughters case was held on Tuesday morning, during which the deadlines for the parties — Samuel Seow Law Corporation and M1, Singtel and StarHub — to exchange information were set, as well as directions for the progress of the case.

TODAY understands that the case will likely be heard again in November.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ipos-agc-seek-intervene-court-proceedings-alleged-illegal-movie-downloading-case

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2016, 11:48:45 AM »
Judge: Vague IP-Address Evidence is Not Enough to Expose BitTorrent ‘Pirates’
BY ERNESTO ON OCTOBER 4, 2016

A California federal court has thrown up a roadblock for filmmakers who want to obtain the personal details of an alleged BitTorrent pirate. The judge refused to issue a subpoena, twice, because it's not clear if the rightsholder obtained the geolocation details at the time of the infringement or after the fact.

While relatively underreported, many U.S. district courts are still swamped with lawsuits against alleged film pirates.

The copyright holders who initiate these cases generally rely on an IP address as evidence. This information is collected from BitTorrent swarms and linked to a geographical location using geolocation tools.

With this information in hand, they then ask the courts to grant a subpoena, forcing Internet providers to hand over the personal details of the associated account holder.

In most cases, courts sign off on these subpoenas quite easily, but in a recent case California Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin decided to ask for further clarification and additional evidence.

The case in question was filed by Criminal Productions, the makers of the 2016 movie Criminal, who are linked to the well-known pirate chasers Nu Image and Millennium Films.

The movie makers filed a complaint against a “John Doe” and list an IP-address that, according to a geolocation lookup, is linked to a location in San Diego County.

Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin, however, is not ready to issue a subpoena based on that information alone. Specifically, he notes that the complaint lacks details on when the geolocation effort was performed.

If the copyright holder looked up the IP-address information after the infringements the location and ISP info may not be accurate at all, as the assignment may have changed.

“It is most likely that the subscriber is a residential user and the IP address assigned by the ISP is ‘dynamic’. Consequently, it matters when the geolocation was performed,” Judge Dembin writes (pdf).

“If performed in temporal proximity to the offending downloads, the geolocation may be probative of the physical location of the subscriber. If not, less so, potentially to the point of irrelevance,” he adds.

This clarification is indeed important but has never been made before in court, as far as we know (see update).

In the original request, Criminal Productions only writes that the geolocation data was obtained prior to filing the lawsuit, but it’s not clear whether that was at the time of the infringements, which took place several months ago.

“This is not good enough. As much as four months may have passed between the alleged infringement and the geolocation,” Judge Dembin writes.

“Plaintiff must provide the date that geolocation occurred and, if performed closer to the filing date, must provide further support and argument regarding the probative value of the geolocation.”

Based on the missing information the motion for discovery was denied, meaning that Criminal Productions didn’t get the subpoena they were after.

A few days after this denial the filmmakers submitted an amended request providing additional information. However, it was still unclear when the geolocation information was actually obtained, so the Judge denied it again yesterday (pdf).

The issue raised in this case is interesting from an accuracy standpoint. Copyright holders in these cases always link an IP-address to a location and ISP, if only to show that the case was filed in the right district. However, they usually don’t say when this geolocation data was obtained.

ISPs do of course keep a log of the IP-address assignment changes. However, the right jurisdiction has to be established before a subpoena is issued.

Judge Dembin therefore suggests that rightsholders should get the information at the time of the infringement, which may be easier said than done. Geolocation databases are far from perfect and most are not updated instantly.

This is something the residents of a Kansas farm know all too well, as their house is the default location of 600 million IP-addresses, which causes them quite a bit of trouble.

Just last month EFF released a whitepaper urging courts to take caution when processing IP-address information. Whether Judge Dembin has read this is unknown, but his actions are definitely in line with the paper’s findings.

Update: SJD informed us that the timing issue was first raised in an April order. It will be interesting to see if other judges will bring it up as well.

Source: https://torrentfreak.com/judge-vague-ip-address-evidence-not-enough-expose-bittorrent-pirates-161004/
PDF of case: https://torrentfreak.com/images/ipdenied1.pdf

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2016, 11:53:53 AM »
Copyright Troll Backs Down When Faced With Exposure
BY ANDY ON NOVEMBER 9, 2016

Companies that make money from threatening alleged file-sharers are known for their bullying tactics but those who are prepared to fight back can enjoy success. A letter sent by a defense lawyer to the copyright trolls behind the movie London Has Fallen provides an excellent and highly entertaining example.

After inflicting more than a decade of misery on alleged file-sharers, rightsholders and their online tracking partners are continuing their quest to turn piracy into profit.

Letters continue to land in mailboxes all over the world, informing people they are pirates and that a lawsuit will follow if a cash settlement isn’t paid. Thousands of people are intimidated by these threats and choose to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to make the problem disappear. Others fight back and when they do, interesting things can happen.

James Collins is one of the countless individuals targeted by the trolls behind the movie London Has Fallen (LHF Productions). Like in many similar cases, LHF accuse Collins of downloading and sharing their movie illegally using BitTorrent. Collins is adamant that he did neither.

In a letter obtained by the troll watchers over at DieTrollDie, Collins’ lawyer J. Christopher Lynch informs LHF lawyer David A. Lowe of this stance in no uncertain terms.

“As Mr. Collins told you in his letter dated October 6, 2016, he is innocent. Mr. Collins was asleep on the date at the time the Amended Complaint accuses him of being ‘observed infringing’,” Lynch writes.

“Likewise, Mr. Collins has no secondary liability because he never aided, directed, facilitated, benefitted from, or shared in the proceeds of any violations of the law by anyone.”

Of course, defenses similar to this one are extremely commonplace. Defendants often deny all knowledge of the alleged infringement but are left trying to prove a negative. The trolls, on the other hand, point to the supposed “forensic quality” evidence that they’ve compiled, that will be produced at trial, should a settlement not be forthcoming.

However, many trolls are like vampires. Not only do they go straight for the throat, they’re also terrified that the cold light of day will be shone directly on their operations and their sometimes shadowy overseas partners. This point isn’t lost on Lynch in his defense of Mr Collins.

In his letter, Lynch calls on LHF’s lawyer to voluntarily dismiss the case against his client, within five business days. Should that go ahead, Lynch says he will seek no fees or costs, but his confident tone suggests a joker up his sleeve.

“We are optimistic that your client and its foreign representatives will see the wisdom of dismissing Mr. Collins. We recognize this requires ‘taking our word’ that Mr. Collins is wholly innocent, but, believe me, he is, just like he told you he is,” he writes.

“We know your client’s foreign representatives do not like taking someone’s word, but this is a good case to trust Mr. Collins, who is wholly innocent, or me, a member of the bar, who is telling you he is wholly innocent. Going forward is tantamount to saying Mr. Collins and I are lying to you, which, of course, we are not, since Mr. Collins is wholly innocent.”

So who are the “foreign representatives” and why are they so important? Well, they’re the ones doing the IP address tracking, monitoring the infringements and compiling the evidence. Well known in trolling circles, notorious companies such as Guardaley, MaverickEye and Crystal Bay Corporation are all in the mix.

The location of these outfits raises issues. Lynch points out that in an earlier case it was discovered that the foreign companies had no properly licensed investigating U.S. witnesses, even though they were “engaged in the business of detecting, discovering, or revealing . . . evidence to be used before a court.” In his letter, Lynch says that he doubts that anyone involved in this case is properly licensed either.

“Your client’s foreign representatives could have complied with Washington law by hiring a licensed investigator to corroborate the foreign investigation in real time, since the purported location of the entrapped IP addresses is known,” he writes.

“But your client’s representatives chose not to invest in compliance with Washington law, and are taking a chance that somehow the foreign witness to the ‘observed infringing’ can testify, and that somehow the entrapped ‘blip’ of the movie in question will be sufficient evidence of U.S. copyright infringement.”

The ‘blip’ referenced by Lynch refers to a momentary transfer of a small part of the movie in question. In an earlier case, the foreign investigators were unable to identify which portion of the copyright work this ‘blip’ related to, something which led to a judgment in favor of the defendant.

What follows next is an impressive teardown of the foreign investigators, including apparently fictitious witnesses and people operating under dual identities, one of whom (Darren M. Griffen) appears in more than 600 other federal cases against file-sharers. Lynch’s investigation suggests an organized smoke-and-mirrors operation, one that he’ll expose before the court, if that is necessary.

“The bottom line is that Mr. Collins is wholly innocent. My firm would not have taken his case if he were not innocent. Mr. Collins will prevail if your client chooses to go forward, and Mr. Collins will seek defense attorneys’ fees for the litigation expenses that could have been avoided by believing him,” Lynch writes.

“Or, choose not to believe him (and me) and we will return the favor – adopting the posture that your client’s representatives are also liars. We will seek the truth about ‘Darren M. Griffin’ and his 42 declarations to the [Western District of Washington] and 600 more to federal courts across the country.”

As noted by DieTrollDie, that threat proved too much for LHF Productions. The company dismissed the case against Mr Collins in preference to being put under the microscope. There are probably very good reasons for that and ones that other recipients of threatening letters should consider exploring.

The whole letter can be found here (pdf). It’s a particularly entertaining read and contains valuable lessons on how not to be intimidated by trolls.

Source: https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-troll-backs-down-when-faced-with-exposure-161109/
PDF: https://dietrolldie.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/letter-to-troll-david-lowe-oct2016_01017wa.pdf


« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 11:56:22 AM by greentara »

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #66 on: April 27, 2017, 07:45:11 AM »
High Court throws out Hollywood movie piracy case
APR 20, 2017 |  Irene Tham Senior Tech Correspondent

Studios wanted to compel telcos to give details of Net users who allegedly downloaded 2 films

Internet users in Singapore have scored a landmark victory against tactics used by copyright holders fighting alleged piracy.

The Singapore High Court has thrown out applications from two Hollywood studios to compel local telcos to release the details of Internet subscribers who allegedly downloaded two movies: Fathers & Daughters and Queen Of The Desert.

The oral decision delivered at a closed-door hearing on Monday was on the grounds of "insufficient evidence", the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) told The Straits Times yesterday.

In a rare move, the AGC intervened in civil applications made in the High Court in July last year by Samuel Seow Law Corp (SSLC), the local law firm that represents the two studios.

Queen Of The Desert, which stars Nicole Kidman, is produced by QOTD Film Investment.

Fathers & Daughters, a 2015 movie starring Russell Crowe, is produced by Voltage Pictures - the same studio that went after Internet users here in 2015 for illegally downloading the movie Dallas Buyers Club.

SSLC represented Voltage at the time, and was able to get Singtel, StarHub and M1 to turn over the names, NRIC numbers and addresses of alleged illegal downloaders. Hundreds of letters were sent out with users told to pay $5,000. The Straits Times understands that a handful of Internet users settled for an undisclosed sum.

Last year, SSLC again served papers on Singtel, StarHub and M1 to get details of alleged pirates of Fathers & Daughters and Queen Of The Desert, with a list of over 500 offending Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

The AGC and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) said they highlighted to the court that SSLC did not submit "sufficient evidence" to show a link between the IP addresses and alleged illegal downloaders. It was on such grounds that the case was dismissed.

Intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of Robinson LLC said: "Many people may be sharing the same Wi-Fi connection. It doesn't mean that the registrant of the line is downloading."

On the other hand, Mr Lau Kok Keng, an IP lawyer at Rajah & Tann Singapore, said requiring the rights owner to link the IP address to the actual infringer is akin to "putting the cart before the horse" - copyright holders need to know who the account holder is to ascertain if he is the actual pirate.

"So it could mean that individuals who illegally download copyright content will be able to get off scot-free because their identities will never be known, short of being caught in the act," said Mr Lau.

Lawyers close to the case said the landmark decision signals a push for copyright holders to enforce their copyright via other means. For instance, the amended Copyright Act that took effect in December 2014 lets content owners seek a High Court order to get telcos to block piracy websites. Before the revised law, they could not compel telcos to block pirated content.

The AGC and Ipos said they had intervened to prevent "an abuse of the process of the court".

In 2015, complaints were made against two SSLC lawyers for breaching ethical guidelines by using threats of criminal litigation in demand letters over the alleged piracy of Dallas Buyers Club.

Mr Samuel Seow, managing director of SSLC, said: "Despite the difficulties, where instructed, we shall press on to find more concrete and substantial evidence which will satisfy the court because it is important to send out the message that the works of copyright holders should be properly protected and enforced accordingly."

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/high-court-throws-out-hollywood-movie-piracy-case

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #67 on: April 27, 2017, 07:47:02 AM »
... The AGC and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) said they highlighted to the court that SSLC did not submit "sufficient evidence" to show a link between the IP addresses and alleged illegal downloaders. It was on such grounds that the case was dismissed.
:
:



Source (11 April 2015): http://dishonest.biz/forum/index.php/topic,37.msg137.html#msg137