Singapore High Court Bans Pirate Set Top Box Apps

By Nitish Singh / November 23, 2018

Fox International, UK’s Premier League and local TV companies in Singapore have successfully made a dent to piracy in the country. After a complaint by the above parties, the Singapore High Court has ordered local ISPs to prevent access to pirate set-top box apps. The order is yet to be made public, and internet users will also find out the list of apps that are to be blocked soon.

Set-top boxes that come preloaded with proprietary software or something like Kodi are not inherently responsible for offering pirated content. However, third-party vendors often “crack” the devices and load apps that allow access to paid content for free including movies, TV shows, and even pay-per-view events. In some cases, users jailbreak their set-top boxes to get access to pirated content as well.

Neil Gane, General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), revealed “The motion was heard at the Singapore High Court on 2nd November. Judicial Commissioner Dedar Singh Gill subsequently granted the proposed Orders against eight authentication server domains. Singapore has been considered a bastion of Intellectual Property rights across the region, and the court’s decision to block access to popular illegal applications preloaded onto ISDs and sold in Singapore reaffirms this contention.”

While in many parts of the world, media companies have targeted set-top box vendors, the win against piracy in Singapore is much more effective on paper. The legal move can definitely hurt the piracy market a lot. While it is entirely plausible that users will simply find new apps to use that have not been blacklisted or simply use VPNs or other means of bypassing the restrictions, the court order bring down the number of users accessing pirated content significantly. Singapore has already banned torrent and streaming websites through earlier injunctions, and this is the third step against piracy the country has taken.

What do you think about the court injunction against pirate set-top box apps in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

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