Thursday, August 16, 2007

Odex: Stephen Sing's Song.


So it's officially confirmed. Stephen Sing himself has admitted on The Straits Times no less, that he was the one who posted the comments two weeks ago gloating about being busy suing people. What he failed to admit and the report failed to mention was his despicable brazen act of bragging about how many downloaders he had double 6-ed. Like as if it were some sort of personal accomplishment as a testament to some childish one-upmanship competition. Only this isn't some amateurish game one is talking about, we are talking about the lives of thousands who have been and will be affected by Odex's arbitrary and arguably unethical behaviour.

This Odex saga, the showdown between Odex (as now personified by Stephen Sing) vs Anime Fans has been growing in magnitude and receiving increased coverage as may be seen from the coverage in the newspapers which basically progressed from The New Paper to The Straits Times as the articles grew longer and ended up in the Prime News section.

Small wonder. General discontent and unhappiness over the arbitrary way Odex were continuing to issue the dreaded letters demanding settlement to downloaders who had downloaded before the initial batch of letters were sent out in May(and which was only publicised in the newspapers on 1st June 2007) boiled over and exploded into a seething mass of fury when it was revealed that Stephen Sing had made such despicable remarks; gloating about suing and double 6-ing so many downloaders.

As a Director of Odex where the company's official stand is that the plethora of Odex letters sent out demanding settlement is to prevent the collapse of the anime industry in Singapore and to protect Intellectual Property rights, such uncalled for behaviour by Mr Sing that denotes a sense of satisfaction and achievement in going after downloaders makes it personal and is unbecoming for someone who proclaims to champion the cause that he says he is.

Personally, I have nothing against the man. But it is understandable why he and the company is the focus of such passionate hatred by the anime fans and other members of the online community. Odex's products have been widely derided as being lacking in quality with complaints ranging from bad video quality to the fact that the numerous mistakes in the subs are due to direct translations from Chinese translation scripts and not the original Japanese.

On top of that, there is this unshakeable perception that while Odex's actions are legal, they are hardly ethical. Even non-anime fans like Sean who never watch a single episode of anime are struck by the inherent unfairness of it all. The main gripe being why no widely publicised and available warning was issued first and more importantly why are people still receiving the Odex letter for downloads in March and April when the first batch of letters were sent out in late May and only reported on 1 June 2007 and they had stopped downloading since May/June. Shouldn't downloaders who continued downloading after 1 June 2007 be caught/targeted instead? Apparently Odex doesn't think so.

It is this retrospective and arbitrary behaviour which irks fans considerably. Add Stephen Sing's gloating incident and convenient memory lapse to the equation and one can fully comprehend why Stephen Sing is not exactly the idol of anime fans in Singapore. He's been demonized regularly with great venom and even received death threats. And his reaction to the current state of affairs? It has been a "PR disaster". That's putting it a bit mildly, what you have is an absolute boycott of all things Odex, a company whose standing amongst the majority of the anime fan community has been destroyed.

And it certainly doesn't help when a Director of the company, Mr Sing, has been caught red-handed gloating over 'giving it' to downloaders in a public online forum no less. So what has Mr Stephen Sing learnt from all this? Not much it seems. Apart from regretting his mistakes and acknowledging that the way things were handled resulted in a "PR disaster", until the situation changes (more parallel imports and competition or no illegal downloads at all? He didn't clarify.), Mr Sing has no intention of stopping.

And you wonder why. Bravo, keep those letters coming Mr Sing and feel the love. It's just a "PR disaster" after all.

Update: Anime Fans seek legal recourse against Odex- Is there a fighting chance?


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If want to have a easy life , stay quiet and let those people stand on your head. Or another way , stand up. Tell this company to sue the largest market paricy in the world, china. I can tell u that boss will be killed by a bullet in his head if he does that. Not funny . For me, I encourage all singaporeans to terminate their internet plans because human right is no longer exist. Any one like me, I have the money , I can see what you write to or whom you write to. Oh sweet for me but no you all . So you all should know what to do. Or be a good children and being slaves. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Maybe Odex should soften their way to do this. Instead of forcing lawyer letter down the thoats of youngers with $5k tag.Odex should make them buy the series instead. There is no need to use law against youngster as they are still learning. This may improve the 'PR' abit. Just think that the world is round and you may end up on the other side

Ryen (Ethical IT Specialist) said...

Legal Conspiracy
In the legal letter that was sent to the downloader stated “we have been authorized by various Japanese animation licensors and members of the Anti Video Piracy Association (Singapore (”AVPAS”) (as Listed in APPENDIX A annexed hereto) to represent them in connection with the protection and enforcement of their rights in their Japanese animation titles.”

Questionable legal action from Singapore legislation arised, since Singapore ISP disclosed privacy information to ODEX. AVPAS as an individual body that ODEX represents is a conspiracy as evidence found on both AVPAS and ODEX website were registered under the same company.

Legislation HOLE
Does that mean that any “tom, dick or harry” person could setup a similar AVPAS(company, association, organisation) and said that we represent that AVPAS body in pursue of legal action and damages that you had incurred to them?

Concrete Evidence
Using WHOIS to check on the both parties AVPAS(avpas.com.sg) and ODEX(odex.com.sg) - [http://whois.domaintools.com/]

—————————————————————–
Registrar: Webvisions Pte Ltd

Registrant:
NETROASIA PTE LTD

Domain Name: avpas.com.sg
Creation Date: 21-04-2007 09:04:19
Expiration Date: 21-04-2008 09:04:19
Domain Status: Active

Owner/Main Contact:

Name:NETROASIA PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGNE96353)
Registered Address(line1): 3 Anson Road
Registered Address(line2): #35-02
Registered Address(line3): Springleaf Tower
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079909

Mailing Address(line1): 3 Anson Road
Mailing Address(line2): #35-02
Mailing Address(line3): Springleaf Tower
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079909

Administrative Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Technical Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Telephone: (65) 6225-6082
Facsimile: (65) 6222-6119
Pager / Mobile Number:

EMAIL: xys@pacific.net.sg

Billing Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

—————————————————————–

Registrar: Webvisions Pte Ltd

Registrant:
ODEX PTE LTD

Domain Name: odex.com.sg
Creation Date: 22-05-2001 18:40:36
Expiration Date: 22-05-2008 00:00:00
Domain Status: Active

Owner/Main Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Administrative Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Technical Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Telephone: (65) 6225-6082
Facsimile: (65) 6222-6119
Pager / Mobile Number:

EMAIL: xys@pacific.net.sg

Billing Contact:

Name:ODEX PTE LTD(SGNIC-ORGOD113223)
Registered Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Registered Address(line2): International Plaza
Registered Address(line3):
Registered Country: Singapore
Registered Postalcode: 079903

Mailing Address(line1): 10 Anson Road #22-11
Mailing Address(line2): International Plaza
Mailing Address(line3):
Mailing Country: Singapore
Mailing Postalcode: 079903

Anonymous said...

i find his actions utterly despicable. fancy a 9 year old having to cough up $3k?! this is utterly preposterous. slapping a threat of a lawsuit on teenagers and children alike (when they are still too young to realise the consequences of their actions) is obviously a desperate attempt to rake in revenue, to keep the company's head above the water. if you want to be recognised and respected as an anime distributor, the maximum extent you should go to is distributing warning letters. and improve the abysmal quality of your products. technological limitations and other paraphernalia arent good enough excuses.

Anonymous said...

If all fails, just switch to Pacnet, since they won the case in the court against Odex.
Being an anime fan myself, I found myself highly inconvenienced, for if I have to abide by this nonsense, watching an anime would mean I have to wait for months or years to even wait for Odex to release it. and the worse thing is: Their quality SUX.
Odex now gives me the impression of a big company picking on children and teenager who can't even fend for themselves. I can't help but feel that, this is just part of their idea of earning quick money off children and teenagers, for most of the downloaders are from that category, and parents would just pay for their children to get off that trouble.
You know what we should be doing? Burn his house! Beat his mother! Make his life a living hell!

Dead Man Walking said...

WoW~ thanks for the address :)