Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Odexed? 8 Things You Should Know.

So you've received that dreaded Odex letter. What now? Xedo Senshi the founder of Xedodefense, an online community that provides support to Odexed anime fans and explores different avenues of handling the crisis, raised 8 pertinent questions on various legal issues in a comment on the Showdown post. I will attempt to address and answer these questions to the best of my abilities in this post because they are relevant and will assist you in your decision on how to proceed.

Before I begin though, the standard disclaimer. These answers are answered to the best of my knowledge after some legal research but are not meant as a substitute for professional paid legal advice. If one intends to pursue legal avenues to settle this issue after reading this article, please by all means consult a lawyer(s) and get their second opinion on these and other issues. After all, you will be paying them. With that I'll proceed to answer the questions.

1. Although the general impression is that Bit-Torrent requires uploading, it is not necessarily so. In view of this, is it considered an offence if the accused only downloaded for personal consumption and not for distribution?

  • Alright, correct me if I'm wrong about the technical aspect of how Bit Torrent works. But from what I understand, when you start downloading a torrent file from Bit Torrent, you get connected to other peers and seeders online and your IP address is publicly visible. As you download the file, the data is obtained in parts from the various online peers and seeders. At the same time, parts of the file that you have already downloaded are uploaded to other peers who are on the same torrent. It is this aspect which in my opinion, is sufficient to satisfy the 'distribution' element under the Offences Section 136 of the Copyright Act.
  • If it is really the case( and you can prove in a court of law) that there was no uploading when downloading the file on bit-torrent, Odex would have failed to prove the distribution element. This means they would not be able to haul the downloader to court for Copyright infringement under Section 136(1),(2),(3) or (6). It is still an offence under Section 136(3A) which is extremely broad and simply requires that the copyright infringement is
    1. wilful (ie: deliberate downloading = wilful) and 2. that the extent of infringement is significant or that the person does the act to obtain a commercial advantage.
    Your strongest argument for an offence under S 136(3A) would be to dispute that the extent of infringement is significant. Of course if you downloaded say 7 or more episodes, you can be sure that the infringement would be regarded as significant. S 136(7) might be a helpful indicator of how many episodes would be regarded as significant. It basically provides that if a person is found to be in possession of more than 5 infringing copies of any work, shall be presumed unless otherwise proven to be in possession of the copies for purposes other than domestic or private use or for the purpose of sale.
  • I won't go into the debate about what constitutes copies, etc. Suffice to say, the Court has explicitly stated there is no fixed formula, they will look at the circumstances of the case and determine. So basically, no, EVEN if you are simply downloading and not distributing, you can be guilty of an offence under Section 136(3A). Do note that the defence in Section 114 for recording TV shows DOES NOT apply to downloading anime, mp3s, etc.
2. Given that a single IP address can be the exit point for several computers, i.e. the father, the mother, the sons, the daughters, the maids etc. Is it actually legal to simply sue the father because the account is under his name? Would that not imply that the owner of a residence can be charged for murder if the evidence only points to the murderer being one of the six in a house?
  • I get your point but you can't draw an analogy like that between the two. Odex is sending letters to the subscribers/account holders because that is the information obtained from the ISPs based on the list of IP addresses after obtaining the court order forcing the ISPs to release customer information. (Do note Odex has just very recently released a clarification on their webpage stating the court order was to release the customer information for 1000 IP addresses and not 1000 subscribers as reported. You can also check out this blogger's comments on it.)
  • Should Odex bring the downloader to court, they will need to obtain hard physical evidence because it is clear that IP addresses alone is insufficient evidence to prove copyright infringement. This will almost certainly entail a private search warrant taken out to search the house of the downloader contesting the case to obtain physical evidence(computer, CDs, etc).
  • When the case goes to court, the suit will be against the downloader and not the account holder/subscriber because the subscriber himself(if found to be so during the discovery of the evidence stage) did not infringe any copyrights by downloading anything. The most he is guilty of is perhaps negligence but the copyright infringement charges will be brought against the actual downloader unless there is evidence that shows the subscriber was aware or ought reasonably to have been aware of the copyright infringement but did nothing about it.
  • So just like you go after the actual murderer, they(Odex) will need to go after the actual copyright infringer.
3. If it can be proven that the IP addresses collected by Odex is not conclusive about the nature of the connection, i.e. no evidence the connection was uploading or downloading, is there still any basis for the charge?
  • I assume you're emphasising on the fact that IP addresses by itself might not be sufficient evidence to establish copyright infringement. If so, you are absolutely correct and as I mentioned earlier, Odex will need to obtain hard, physical evidence that is admissible to support their claim that the downloader has actually infringed the copyrights of the work by downloading anime illegally. And they will do that by obtaining a private search warrant and searching your house/premise.
  • This question is a little academic though because should the case proceed to trial, Odex being the plaintiff will have to produce evidence to prove their case on a balance of probabilities and they will proceed to do so as mentioned above. Hence, if the person Odexed is really innocent (ie: never downloaded a single episode of anime at all), then Odex would fail to obtain the requisite evidence at the discovery stage. Otherwise, you can be sure that they will not be relying solely on IP addresses as evidence of your copyright infringement. They can't.
4. If challenged in court, and no evidence of alleged content can be found on the accused's computer, where would the legal costs fall?
  • So they've searched your house, dissected your comp and found no hard tangible evidence of any copyrighted works in your possession. I seriously doubt they'll be foolish enough to proceed to trial on such a basis. They'll probably attempt to settle, paying you a sum of money to mollify you.
  • Assuming they do go to trial and they lose because of the lack of evidence, if it is a civil case as it would be unless they commence a private prosecution after obtaining approval from the Attorney General's Chambers, the court usually orders costs against the loser. This is of course at the court's discretion. The court may order full costs against the losing party or simply order partial costs. Where it clear the vindicated party is innocent, it is likely that the court will order full costs against the losing party ie: Odex.
  • This means that Odex will need to pay for all costs of the court proceedings, the cost of filing the various court documents and your party to party costs. This DOES NOT mean that the victor does not have to pay for anything. The victor will still need to pay the solicitor-clients cost ie: you will still need to pay the legal fees of your lawyer.
  • If Odex is granted permission by the Attorney General's Chambers to commence a private prosecution on behalf of the Public Prosecutor, the trial will be a criminal suit and for criminal suits, all costs lie where they fall. That means no matter who wins or loses, you still have to pay for your share of the legal proceedings, party to party costs and solicitor-client costs. Everything is split except for the cost of your lawyer's fees which is paid by you personally.
5. Can the accused persons act as a group in any legal proceeding, i.e. class action suit or must they take on Odex one by one?
  • Yes they can and they should. They can proceed against Odex via a class action suit and the well known case is that of the Raffles Town Club case where club members joined together in a class action suit to sue RTC for breach of contract. See the initial case, Tan Chin Seng and Others vs Raffles Town Club Pte Ltd [2002] 3 SLR 345 (High Court) & [2003] 3 SLR 307 (Court of Appeal)
  • Proceeding as a class action suit has various advantages, foremost amongst which is that it is considerably cheaper to do so rather than commencing separate individual cases and you have more resources pooled together to fund the suit. One thing to note about Class action suits in Singapore, ours is DIFFERENT from the American style of Class action suits. So don't read up on American class action suits, the procedure and consequence of a judgement in a class action suit is different from our system. I'll touch on this more in the next question.
6. If one person takes the fight against Odex to court and proves that Odex did not have a case, whether due to a lack of concrete correlation of IP to person, or lack of evidence that the person was in possession of alleged content, does it mean all who are involved in this situation can rely on this judgement?
  • I'll answer this in two parts. First on the face value aspect of the question which says if one person obtains a judgement against Odex, can everyone else rely on this judgement? For obvious reasons, the answer is most definitely NO. Why? Because they are not a party to the suit and hence the judgement is not binding on Odex regarding the other downloaders/people and also because the circumstances of the case are different in each case. There may be no evidence that one guy illegally downloaded anime and infringed copyrights but that doesn't mean that there's no evidence that the other 1000+ (assuming) Odexed people didn't download anime and infring copyrights. This is with regards to the any ruling on evidence ie: lack of evidence that the person was in possession of alleged content.
  • Of course if the ruling is with regards to a point of law, say for example that: IP addresses are never, on its own, good evidence of copyright infringement. That ruling on a point of law will affect similar cases until and unless it is overturned by a higher court, the highest court in Singapore being the Court of Appeal.
  • Now assume a class action suit is brought against Odex. First things first, as mentioned earlier, the class action suit in Singapore is different than in the USA. Firstly, people who wish to join a class action suit must Opt-In by application to join the suit. In the USA, everyone in a similar class that is affected by the subject matter in question is automatically a member of the class action suit, you leave the suit by 'Opting-Out'. Secondly, the holding/judgement of the court in a class action suit only binds the parties to the suit. Which means that in our case(Singapore), if you failed to 'Opt-in' to the class action suit by actively applying to do so, you would not be able to enforce the judgement or rely on it. In the USA, all members of the class are automatically bound by the decision in the class action suit and can enjoy the benefits(depending on their perspective) unless they have Opted-Out of the class action suit.
7. As you mentioned, the quantum of compensation is a sticking point. If it can be shown that
a) such alleged activities did not prejudiced the copyright owner's interest and/or
b) copyright owner did not suffer any significant loss in revenue (imagined or actual) and/or
c) the amount of losses was aggravated due to the the copyright owner's action or lack of
is it possible to challenge the quantum or the case itself on these grounds?
  • (a) if you can prove this (and you will need to go to court to show this) then they cannot win a case against you based on Section 136(1),(2),(3). And you can successfully challenge the case itself, let alone the quantum. Do note however that S 136(3A) has no requirement for prejudice, but simply that the infringement is significant.
  • (b) this would be a factor possibly in the determination by the court as to whether the copyright owner was prejudicially affected. Which means the response would be exactly the same as for (a). You may attempt to rely on the defence of Fair Dealing in Section 35 as was mentioned in my earlier post and the court will then take into account the factors listed in S 35(2) but this list is NOT exhaustive, which means the court will look at other factors too.
  • (c) this is not a ground for challenging the quantum or the case itself. The fact that the amount of losses has been aggravated by the Copyright owner's inaction( assuming that you can even show it in the first place) is irrelevant in the court's decision when determining copyright infringement. Like they say, two wrongs do not make a right. And any negligence on the part of the Copyright owner or the exclusive licensee would not detract from their rights to enforce their copyrights.
8. If it can be proven that only Odex is prejudiced by the alleged actions and not the copyrights owners, does Odex still have a case of copyright infringement against the users?
  • Yes. Odex has been exclusively licensed by the copyright owners, the Japanese Animation companies. Section 123 of the Copyright Act states that the exclusive licensee shall have, except against the owner, the same rights as the owner possesses and be entitled to the same remedies the owner is entitled to as per Sections 119 -120A which detail the right of the Copyright Owner to enforce his rights by bringing an action and the remedies he is entitled to.
  • The fact that Odex is a licensee is irrelevant, it has the same rights as that of the copyright owner. Section 124 of the Copyright Act further provides that the licensee or owner may proceed with an action without having the other party join as a plaintiff to the action unless the court orders otherwise. This means Odex can sue without having the Jap companies join in as a plaintiff. Lastly S 126 provides for the Assessment of damages for the exclusive licensee. When taking into account damages or statutory damages, the court will take into account any liabilities, royalties or otherwise, to which the licence is subject.
Hope this article answers some of the more pressing legal issues and questions people, Odexed or otherwise, might have. Once again for those who have been Odexed or strongly suspect that they will be Odexed, take some time, do a little level-headed research and browse through this article and the others on this or other blogs about Odex. But do not use it as a substitute for professional paid legal advice, especially if you intend to pursue a legal recourse.

Update: A surprising twist in the Odex court order application against Pacnet. Pacnet Wins!

24 comments:

galen said...

I agree with most of this, except point 8. IF Odex is really the licensee, then it is true, but there are many types of license contracts. I wholly doubt that Odex has an all-encompassing contract which automatically brings all productions of all the AVPAS members under its license. For a small company like Odex, that is virtually impossible.

I think one sticking point will actually be the authority Odex has to bring about actions on behalf of the Japanese animation companies. I'm not sure about the legal part about this, though.

Xedo Senshi said...

Thanks for taking precious time to reply those questions. It is greatly appreciated! :)

Xedo Senshi said...

Galen, that's why Odex is not pursueing the action as Odex, their own list of licensed anime is small. They are making use of AVPAS as the action party, thus allowing them allegedly to act on behalf of all content owner who are members of AVPAS, regardless of whether Odex is a licensee of the anime in question.

This is why it's the anime list at AVPAS that's important, not the Odex's list.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

galen said...

But what are the actions that are necessary for AVPAS to allow Odex to take action on its behalf? There would need be be some sort of agreement, signed and all, correct? Also, wouldn't the other members of AVPAS have to express agreement? Somehow, I'm having doubts that there existed some meeting with such a directive that the Japanese companies have endorsed. Can Odex take action with just AVPAS approval, despite much evidence that AVPAS is Odex-driven?

In the first place, AVPAS is a private organisation, did they need to furnish any evidence that the members they claim to have actually agreed to be members? I'm not sure as to the protocol for such things.

Oh, and if you read the AVPAS page, the list of anime is not exhaustive, apparently anything not listed, but produced by its member parties is also under its purview. Which is a cover-their-ass statement, seeing as they don't bother to update the list in a timely matter.

Anonymous said...

To quote aelgtoer:"Do note that the defence in Section 114 for recording TV shows DOES NOT apply to downloading anime, mp3s, etc." Can someone elaborate more on this? Is this mean recording/copying a TV show to a media is ok?

Aelgtoer said...

Alright, I'll clarify the questions in the order that they appear.

To Galen: Odex is the exclusive licensee in Singapore for the titles listed on its page. This means it has all the rights of the exclusive licensee as per Section 123 of the Copyright Act. While you are correct in pointing out there are different types of licenses, an exclusive licensee is one with the license to distribute the products in a particular country to the exclusion of all others. This is the case for the Odex titles.

For the titles which Odex does not hold the license too, they are not licensees which is why it is as Xedo Senshi says, the civil action would be brought by AVPAS on behalf of the copyright owners ie the Jap animation companies. And AVPAS would have all the rights the copyright owners have because AVPAS is authorised by the Copyright owners to commence an action for copyright infringement.

Of course if the case goes to court, AVPAS will certainly need to show that it has been properly authorised by the Jap animation companies who are indeed members of the AVPAS association. This evidence will also have to be released during the discovery stage. So the stuff about whether there are signed agreements, proper authorization are evidentiary issues that must be settled before AVPAS/Odex can even make its case against the offender.

It is NOT a point of law, the law remains the same and as long as they can establish they have the proper authority and the action is by AVPAS that comprises the copyright owners, they are legally entitled to enforce an action for copyright infringement.

To Anonymous: Hi, I think i've raised this in the comment on Tomorrow.sg, but i'll just rehash first. Yes Section 114 provides that recording TV shows and broadcasts for DOMESTIC and PRIVATE use will NOT amount to copyright infringement.

Here's the Relevant section:
Filming or recording broadcasts or programmes for private and domestic use

114. —(1) The copyright in a television broadcast or a cable programme, or in a literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work or a cinematograph film included in the broadcast or programme, insofar as it consists of visual images, is not infringed by the making of a cinematograph film of the broadcast or the cable programme for the private and domestic use of the person by whom the cinematograph film is made.

(2) The copyright in a sound broadcast, a television broadcast or a cable programme, or in a literary, dramatic or musical work, a sound recording or a cinematograph film included in the broadcast or programme, insofar as it consists of sounds, is not infringed by the making of a sound recording of the broadcast or the cable programme for the private and domestic use of the person by whom the sound recording is made.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a cinematograph film or a sound recording shall be deemed to be made otherwise than for the private and domestic use of the person by whom it is made if it is made for the purpose of —

(a) the sale or letting for hire of the film or the sound recording, as the case may be;

(b) broadcasting the film or recording or including it in a cable programme; or

(c) causing the film or recording to be seen or heard in public.

The whole idea is precisely that recording of TV shows for private use would NOT amount to copyright infringement. Do note that this section DOES NOT apply to anime MP3, it is ONLY for audio-visual works that is specifically defined in Section 102 as a sound recording, a cinematograph film, a sound broadcast, a television broadcast or a cable programme.

Anime and MP3/ Movie files/ downloaded stuff are NOT audio-visual items and the law is very clear on this. Do note the conditions attached to the Section 114 that void the domestic and private use element. They are 1. Sale or renting out the recorded audiovisual item, 2. broacasting or recording or including item in a cable programme and most importantly 3. causing the audio-visual item to be seen or heard in public.

Doing any of the three automatically revokes the private and domestic use element and this presumption cannot be rebutted.

Hope this clarifies your questions.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification. To drill more on the AVPAS list. If AVPAS does obtain the copyrights from the Japanese companies, do they need to pay "license fee" for each title? It looks to me that the list gets longer and longer during this heated week. There are now 403 titles, if fees involved, then either Odex doesn't lose as much money as it claimed, or they gain enough from suing... BTW, can you copyright something that is not even released in DVD (Japan) yet?

Aelgtoer said...

AVPAS does not obtain the copyrights from the Jap Companies. AVPAS is acting on behalf of the Jap companies who own the copyrights. AVPAS is not a licensed distributor like odex after all but it is authorised to act because the copyright owners which are the jap companies are members of AVPAS and have authorised it to act on their behalf.

And yes a copyright subsists once a work is produced and registered with the necessary authorities. You don't need to wait for the released version/DVD, etc

Anonymous said...

Thanks again. Hopefully this is my last question to your last respond: I don't have the dreaded letter, but think saw it on the web somewhere. Not reading it thoroughly, I remember it sounds like it's initiated by Odex and not AVPAS? Can anyone confirm?

Aelgtoer said...

No problem. You can find the letter at my very first odex post here at the link to Darkmirage somewhere at the end of the post.

Basically, they just state that they have been authorized by AVPAS to represent them in connection with the protection and enforcement of their copyrights. AVPAS which comprises the copyright owners has authorized Odex to do whatever they are doing.

OF course when and if this goes to trial, they(Odex and AVPAS) will need to produce the necessary evidence to show that they have been thus authorized.

galen said...

So true. However, from a business standpoint I will continue to maintain skeptical that Odex and AVPAS actually have the necessary authorisation, until they prove to me otherwise. If the Japanese companies are taking such a stance, it will have widespread effects worldwide. Now Singapore is only a laughingstock for having weak privacy protection, but if the Japanese companies are able to pursue fansubbers based on Singapore IP law (which is modelled on US IP law), it would have worldwide implications. Imagine the American distributors pulling the same stunt...

On a side note, I wonder at what point they would reveal such information...

Aelgtoer said...

I understand your scepticism and this is definitely one aspect which AVPAS and Odex will need to show/prove before going to court. As to any global implications, that depends on the Copyright and IP law system in that country.

Singapore's Copyright Act is actually modelled after the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and not the US one which is quite different. The only provision modelled after the US Copyright Act is our Section 35 Fair Dealing defence which takes the elements from s 107 of the US Copyright act.

Unfortunately, adverse reactions and criticisms will only be raised if Singapore or any country for that matter is deemed to have weak Intellectual Property laws that do not adequately protect against piracy. That is a sad but undeniable truth.

And you can be pretty sure the government will never let that happen.

Nitro said...

Aelgtoer, We appreciate for your invaluable input and precious time. Words alone cannot describe our gratitude.

Aelgtoer said...

No prob, just giving back a little to the community. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I ventured into this website unknowingly but took sometime to read up about your fantastic post. There are a couple of things that I personally do not fully understand. Basically its about the letter itself. They said they were acting on behalf of AVPA. And now there is this list of anime on the AVPA website itself. Now the list itself does have a date. (1)If the list did not state say anime A covered by AVPA in Jan and later in Feb it was covered will they then back track? (2)If backtracking was possible how long is the backtracking dated? (3)Now if the downloader himself got the info from its official source(AVPA) and it was negligence on the website itself to fail to provide a true and up to date list, would the downloader constitute an offence? I myself am only curious of the consequences. (4)In addition, in general what amounts do those lambs whom violated these rules usually have to cough up? (5)Finally could you explain more in depth about privacy laws(do state the differences if any between internet privacy and non-internet privacy) in Singapore itself since in order for anyone to obtain any information of another would be to stalk the other user in the virtual world. Stalking itself constitutes to an extreme social problem. Eg If I were to transfer files via bit torrent say personal photos or documents and the stalker gets to "filter them off" but in the process reads it first. I know there are lots of questions in general but I really hope someone with such knowledge to answer these really simple questions. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Another "Anonymous" here posting a question. But first I would like to thank Aelgtoer for the time spending answering the posts. My question is, if I were to receive the letter, can I ask Odex to show me the paper proof of such license between them and the Japanese companies really exist? I need to make sure I am paying something based on a solid cause and not a "scam". Same as if I were to receive a phone bill costing $5000 which I don't think is right, I have the rights to ask for the breakdown to check what I am being charged, correct? If so, what do I need? Lawyer? Court order? Can it be a simple "Can I see...."? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Thk you for posting this important info Aelgtoer, it will help many pple to approach this issue informed and prepared.

I have a question I hope you can help me with:

If an individual admits to Odex for downloading anime illegally, must Odex report the individual to the police by law?

I mean, if Odex do not report the offense, will they incriminate themselves by with-holding "evidence"?

Thls for taking time to reply.

Aelgtoer said...

Alright I'll respond to the questions briefly in the order they appear, once again do note that if you intend to pursue legal means to resolve this issue, do consult a lawyer and get their professional paid legal advice.

(1)If the list did not state say anime A covered by AVPA in Jan and later in Feb it was covered will they then back track?

Well I can't second guess what AVPAS will do but if they do, they will be legally entitled to do so as long as they can show that copyrights had already subsisted in the work in january. Failure to list the anime title on the website does not mean that copyrights did not exist for that title and cannot be enforced.

(2)If backtracking was possible how long is the backtracking dated?

As far back as the copyright for that work exists. IE: upon production of that work and registration with the proper authorities. Listing on the website is irrelevant.

(3)Now if the downloader himself got the info from its official source(AVPA) and it was negligence on the website itself to fail to provide a true and up to date list, would the downloader constitute an offence?

Yes. See question 2. Not knowing that a work is copyrighted (which almost everything today is)is no defense to copyright infringement. Anymore than saying I dunno what the law is is a defence to any offence. It's not.

)In addition, in general what amounts do those lambs whom violated these rules usually have to cough up?

Based on the information released by the Odexed people and official reports. Anywhere between $3000-$5000.

(5)Finally could you explain more in depth about privacy laws(do state the differences if any between internet privacy and non-internet privacy) in Singapore

Ok i'm not sure about this cause I didn't do IT law. Suffice to say what they are doing would not amount to an invasion of privacy per se. As long as they can show they are obtaining the IP addresses as a means of protecting and enforcing their copyrights, it is not invasion of privacy. The courts must have been convinced to issue the court order.

That said, there are indeed laws against stalking, etc by strange weirdoes. This would come under your Penal code and possible Miscellaneous Offence Act.

(6)If I were to receive the letter, can I ask Odex to show me the paper proof of such license between them and the Japanese companies really exist?

You can ask them, they should certainly show it if they want to establish legitimacy to their claims but they are not legally obliged to show you anything at that stage. Only if you go to court to fight the case, then Odex and you will need to obtain and pass over any relevant evidence during the discovery of evidence stage which is before trial.

Your lawyer will have to write in to request for such evidence.

(7)If an individual admits to Odex for downloading anime illegally, must Odex report the individual to the police by law?
I mean, if Odex do not report the offense, will they incriminate themselves by with-holding "evidence"?

No Odex or AVPAS need not do so. As copyright owners (or bodies authorized by the copyright owners), they can decide to enforce the copyright infringement actions on their own in court which would then be a civil case or obtain approval from the Attorney General's Chambers to commence a private prosecution on behalf of the Public Prosecutor which would be a criminal case.

Either way, not reporting you to the police initially or otherwise will not detract from their rights in anyway.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

hi im one of the person who got the odex letter..i would like to ask should i pay up or fight in court? which is cheaper? advise needed!

Aelgtoer said...

Hi Anonymous,

If you choose to go to court individually, you will almost inevitably have to pay a greater sum then if you settle. Additionally, you will be faced with the prospect of having to pay for their legal costs too.

You might want to check out Xedodefense. They are contemplating taking a class action, additionally the recent Pacnet ruling is a setback to Odex. I suggest you contact Odex and enquire what amount you need to pay and decide from there.

Should you decide to pursue legal means, it is advice able to seel professional paid legal advice first and if possible apply to join a class action suit if other odexed people are going to do so.

At the end of the day, weigh the pros and cons and choose the option which requires you to pay less with less hassle. If you are set on fighting Odex's claims, then by all means go consult a lawyer first.

Anonymous said...

"So just like you go after the actual murderer, they(Odex) will need to go after the actual copyright infringer."

Ok the internet for a home user is used by him and his family but if all the family member claim that they don't remember downloading these files Odex listed on their letter, can Odex still identify who is the actual downloader in that family? Then how can Odex get the real downloader in this case? I wonder ;)
Hope to receive your feedback on this, hehe.

Aelgtoer said...

That's where all your computer forensic experts will come in to pull apart all your computers and etermine whether any computer/laptop in the household has indeed downloaded anime.

It becomes a question of evidence and not of law. And of course like they say no evidence no talk. If they can't find any evidence then their case will fail.

SadistiX said...

actually, if we download from sites like da-anime.org, they can never catch us.

Jonathan said...

I'm a 15 year old anime watcher, and my friend got odexed sometime ago, after cursing odex silently under my breath for a few weeks, i believe its time the anime community come up with its stand. theres more than a few premises for argument and i believe a class action is possible

Odex got spanked by the judge on the pacnet case because of a few reasons.

1. It is NOT the exclusive licensee to ANY anime in singapore EXCEPT for GSD. The implication is that either the JAP ANIME PRODUCERS THEMSELVES sue, or contact AVPAS to sue.

2. The methods taken by the company contracted to track our ip down is dubious, arbituary. This technically is wrong, for it is tracking the things you download without having legal rights to do so. violation of privacy. simple.

3. If we prove that by downloading anime we are not inflicting any loss of profits on odex, such as distributing and such, we have a case. This is further highlighted in the fair dealing act, which wiki defines factors involved as:

"purpose and character of the dealing, including whether such dealing is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;

nature of the work or adaptation
amount copied, relative to the whole work;

effect of the dealing upon the potential market for the work, and effect upon its value.

the possibility of obtaining the work or adaptation within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price. "

This means that if we can prove the anime we downloaded was NOT AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET AT THAT POINT OF TIME (EG ODEX HESITATES IN LICENSING AND SELLING FROM THIER HUMBLE ABODE AND WEBSITE), we have a case, gentlemen.

Also, if we can prove downloading does not constitue in loss of profit, we have even a better case. Otakus (real ones like you and mean, not some b*st**d who goes by the moniker xysing)have already said if odex kills anime in singapore, they shall stop watching altogether, due to poor quality. This contitutes to the fact that odex not only charges, byt they charge for poor quality not to mention slow releases, up to 1 1/2 years after first airing in japan. By proving that their releases are not available at the time of download, and proving animes' /quote stephen sing/ AVAILABILTY /end quote/ (excuse me while i roll my eyes) in the market easily accesible to the laymen, we have a case.


Now enough of the legal stuff, let me continue my rant and tirade against odex.

stephen, you must either have a very bad memory, or very good pr, because you can actually change your nice little "comment" about 66'ing "dlers" from 1 Aug to about 1 June. No wonder your companies love to backdate. You sued a friend for D.gray, which we have been watching ever since it was aired in japan. Well aparently it aired in arts central late this month. We appreciate you backdating arrests to 12 months thank you.

You said that you were an Otaku ever since you were young, and started odex to make anime more accessible in singapore. Oh sorry while i pop your small bubble of the utopic anime society in singapore. Not only you are killing anime, you are feeding us crap as substitute. Im on pac so im safe, but im not downloading nor watching that "parellel-import-from-china/hk-with-extremely-accurate-subs/dubs" dvds. So much for being an otaku. Oh. By the way, if your 30+, and you were otaku when you were young, you were watching.. lemme see. dragonball in chinese? im sure that constitutes to you being "the BIGGEST, RICHEST, AND MOST LEGAL AND FANATIC" otaku in singapore.

Oh yeah stephen, Im pretty sorry that us the downloaders have been patronizing the fan-subbers instead of your big, centralised, easily located office, or your recently-then-constructed-finish website. Wow. I see anime series bearing you logo on the market. Im such a big fan of D.Gray Man! Thanks for releasing it in singapore since early last year! NOT! Help make anime more accessible? Your utopia bullsh*t is making me laugh. You buy the license, keep quiet about it, keep all you "high grade (no wonder defective china goods are always all over the news nowadays, i digrese)" anime in your headquarters that is oh-so-visible instead of being a small, non-descript, negligible office in international plaza or whatever it is. That sad company's name? deox? xdoe? edox? I cant remember, but im pretty sure it aint odex, for they keep us up to date with japan's latest hottest anime, as our friend stephen is such an otaku! Excuse me while i clear the sarcasm out of my system.

I have said for a long time to those who know me, you may have the legal rights, but morally you know you are wrong, you are trying to encourage anime culture so you'll have better sales, but what you're doing is to ensure you have VIRTUALLY NO SALES coz you pwned anime in singapore. except for a few addicts who dont mind jap-china-english subbed anime. You blame us for "not parellel importing or buying anime in singapore by legal means". Seriously to tell you the truth, I have NEVER, EVER, heard of something called odex (until now) from my start of otaku journey to now of 4 years. You expect us to know there is a company who licenses anime, you expect us to know that anime is not in the market but available at your office, you expect us to PARELLEL IMPORT FREAKING ANIME JUST TO WATCH IT? Perhaps we should buy some china goods, resub it, and share with close friends. like a certain odex i know.

there goes my rant. have been dying to get this off my chest. For the front legal portion, can some legal academic comment on the points raised and the possibility of such a suit? thank you.

for anime in singapore.