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Studios Sue Singapore Anime Downloaders


Hated Singapore anime licensor Odex continues its crusade against torrent using anime downloaders in Singapore, with its most recent move being to enlist the help of a number of Japanese studios to take legal action against a few downloaders who declined to roll over and pay a settlement.

Odex, which assures us its actions are definitely not “a profiteering mission to get as much money from everybody”, originally took action against naive torrent users after demanding user data from ISPs and enlisting the services of dubious anti-piracy companies, only to be rebuffed by the courts.

The studios, Showgate, Geneon Entertainment, TV Tokyo, GDH, and Sunrise, must all involve themselves (at least by proxy), as the earlier court ruling held that Odex could not itself sue, and that only the original copyright holders could act. Odex thus roped in the studios concerned to continue its actions.

Supposedly, Odex is not behind this most recent set of actions, although this leaves open the question of why Japanese studios would bother with litigation in Singapore.

A simplistic PR attempt to stop any more ill will being generated against the company by trying to portray the campaign as the actions of a third party, perhaps?

You can see a full account of this wicked company on the Odex Haet Wiki. Their anti-P2P crusade even has an entire article to itself now.

The good source.

Amusingly, the company itself still hasn’t restored its website after it was hacked during the last fracas…

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  • Didn’t you wanna fight back, well not sueing them, but forcing them to release more higher quality products?

    It would be ashame that Singapore invite May’n but the anime released in Singapore still in VCD format >.<

  • What the heck? Torrents are illegal? LOL. Apparently Torrents are saviors to those people who can’t reach the goods because of A: The goods are not available in that area B: Extreme overcharge due to retailers trying to make an extra buck. or what ever it may be. Sure sue/screw piracy but think of those who use it personally and in a non-profit manner. XD

    • Didn’t agree, you are thinking about yourself. Think more about the product’s maker. They make stuff, they deserved to get money.

      What would you do if someone stole your product (software / program) that you make in 6 months or more. The one who stole didn’t try to sale it, he only use for himself non-profit. But his friends come and copy it, also for self use only, non-profit, and again another friend, and again and again.

      In the end, you don’t recieved money form what you had make.

  • Well it’s not surprising really considering how “free” Singapore is. And IIRC, Japanese uploaders also have the same problem with the authority there that tracks filed shared on Winny. The only reason that we get RAWS are because those were recorded by dedicated RAW distros that host it on their own Server, which by law the authorities cannot force the ISP to show what’s inside.
    If the Singaporeans is at least have some intelligence, they could ditch P2P for animus and use an old, unloved but reliable and untouched by Odex method, DCC transfer via mIrc. Just as fast, and have dedicated server as well. This cannot be tracked back by the user as the ISP has no obligation to show the data that transfers via it, unlike P2P data

  • Haruhi-chan is so kawaii…. and I also love the fact that the desk is pissed off. ๐Ÿ˜›

    About the company, that’s really bad for Singapore-ans(?).
    I really hope other countries don’t follow suit, and that something can be done against Odex.

    I know that they legally can do that, but that’s like the worst thing a licenser can ever do.

    Anime would have never become popular throughout the world if it wasn’t for people being able to download anime, and using torrents.

    I’m willing to bet most of the profit Odex makes and even the creation of the company has a lot to owe to that.

    So, they come into play, and wants to screw up people who actually created them? The very people who are responsible for their profit?

    If something like that happened in Brazil, I myself (if not someone else) would get people together to screw up such company by any means necessary.

    • It’s ruled that Odex can only act independantly on the only title which they have exclusive rights; Gundam Seed.

      Yet, they are pulling out people’s IP addresses which are found to be getting other titles which are not even on their “licensed” title list.

      Other companies will send a C&D order to targets to stop whatever they are doing illegally before they take apprioriate action.

      Yet Odex, which hardly anyone in Singapore has even heard of it, fires off love letters to either cave in to legal settlements or court settlements, knowningly that people will not dare risk having to pay more in lengthly court sessions.

      Once again, Odex is NOT here to care for their consumers, but to rip them off with pathetic choice of preferred media format ( VCDs ), limited choice of DVD titles ( And poorly done/ Censored may i add ), and even fooled a whole nation.

  • I have just one little question.

    Which company do you think is bigger? Odex or the various anime studios?

    When you answer that question (I’m quite sure you all should be able to answer that correctly), then think about just who is calling the shots this time. Can it even be Odex? I don’t think so.

    If that’s not enough, consider this: the studios hold the copyright to the animes. Why would they, the owner, get money from people for illegally downloading those animes, and give it to somebody who doesn’t own the animes?

    • None of the Japanese companies here have any really signifcant operations outside Japan, least of all in Singapore. Don’t you think if they were behind it, their first port of call would be the US?

      Additionally, the studios don’t receive any money directly from Singaporean activity – they sold the right to do that to Odex in return for royalties.

      • Odex only has a sub-license to subtitle, dub and redistribute the animes. They do not own the series in any way, which was why the court ruled so with regards to Pacific Internet.

        Not to mention that it would be easier for the Japanese companies to start here, with the groundwork already laid out by Odex. In contrast, America has had a bad track record in terms of prosecuting illegal downloaders (bad from the viewpoint of the company). Thus, it is not surprising that Singapore is where they turn to rather than America.

        And also, Singapore has had rather good events happening in terms of the anime scene recently. I mean, the Eva movie just aired on TV last Sunday. Subbed, not dubbed. We’re having same-week telecasts for a few series, such as Toradora, Casshern Sins and Skip Beat. Subbed, not dubbed. We’re about to host Anime Festival Asia, which is bringing in fans from the region and from Japan too, with May’n and Mizuki Ichirou performing.

        We might not be as big as the American market, but we sure are a major market, especially if you include the countries in the region. We’re being recognised, and we’re being noticed. I guess we get some good and we get some bad.

        • The scuttlebutt is that the Japanese companies are concerned about fansub torrents because Japanese otaku are downloading them – apparently fansubs download faster than the raws, because of the sheer mass of international downloaders all beavering away on the same torrent.

          I don’t think they really care about how the overseas markets perform, as long as there are people willing to cough up money for licenses. However, when they think that the Japanese market (viz. cable subscriptions, etc) is being affected, that’s another story.

          Have seen a couple of MADs (no indication that they were overseas productions) on Nico made using fansubs, so there may be something to this theory. Which might mean that the situation is even more fscked-up than one would otherwise assume.

          Naturally, tj han’s assessment is almost certainly correct as well.

        • Look, Artefact, let me give an analogy.

          You have a really large, juicy roast chicken.

          You also have nice but less filling chicken nuggets.

          You do not have hands.

          Which will you eat? The seemingly ew little pieces of processed chicken or the all-natural goodness of a whole chicken?

          The nuggets of course because it is EASIER.

          Singapore has such a meek population and the strongly-corporation-skewed legal culture, where the regular joe fears the courts and would never think of hiring a lawyer. It’s not like in the US k where everyone’s sue-crazy.

          It’s tragic but there are benefits to it as well, like no abuse of the legal system (well, ironically, if you consider this abuse, but it really isnt).

  • Now the real question is whether the Federal Lords’ accumlating losses are mainly due to poor export sales to other nations or they are merely pushing it onto us gajins (when their own people EVEN didn’t support them ).

  • Did you guys see how Odex packages their VCDs and DVDs?

    No extras, horrible packaging, no figurines to go with, no collector’s edition, weak paper box, lousy advertising etc.

    And not to mention horrible dubbing. Give me some collectibles to go along with subbed DVDs, I will do my part and buy.

    I’m not going to spend my $ on simple anime VCDs/DVDs. This is sooo not the style of anime lovers.

    Odex is just out ot make some quick bucks instead of engaging the anime community over here in Singapore.

    • Of course it’s always good to spend some good dollars for certain stuff that are at least worth as much as their overpriced tags.

      As for other distros in other countries, US will have a much better ground on offering unique offers with the DVD packages and avoid all means to BRAND themselves everywhere.

      And with the recent hype with these Federal Lords deciding to put in ADDITIONAL materials(nipples) in the videos themselves for DVD releases, it’s useless for Singapore’s MDA to allow them.

      These Federal Lords(the studios) REALLY need to replace their style to suit with the current world.

      Odex however, would be better off to vanish from the very surface of this planet as they only discouraged the Federal Lords to cater for the gajins here.

  • Odex does sound amazingly inefficient at what they’re supposed to do aren’t they? The only anime I see at my local video shop is stuff like Doraemon and a few other basic ones which I’ve watched before elsewhere *cough*. I’m surprised they haven’t folded yet; those who don’t watch anime don’t really know or care about Odex, those who do, well. It is not my place to speak for the community lol, but I believe most Singaporean watchers are boycotting them. Now I’m just waiting for the financial crisis to do them in.

  • Here is my assurance to all those that have been affected by this new incident:

    “We are pleased to inform all XD members and potential members that we now have access to lawyers who are willing and interested to represent collectively those who may be in need. As those who have been issued Writs would need a lawyer anyway, it would be more cost effective if everybody shares the same lawyer.

    In addition, there may be some legal funding to help those who are taking the stand. Not confirmed at this point but just to let everybody know that Odex/R&T cannot expect to walk over you simply because they think you have no resources to put up a fight against their invasion based on a technically flakey IP list.

    Importantly, the lawyers who have offered to help us would have the full support of the XD research team to provide technical knowledge on the issues. This is a crucial advantage as we have known of lawyers made less than desirable recommendations to members in the previous Odexgate 2007. These are not lousy lawyers per se, but simply due to a lack of understanding about the relevant technology, and it is not reasonable also to expect a busy lawyer without the necessary background to learn all there is to learn in the days available.

    So if you are on of those who have received Writs or know those who do, please help spread the message.

    You are not alone.”


  • They are probably mad because nobody buys their silver-boxed VCD sets and their half-assed efforts on retaining any title that might be much longer than a mere 12-episode season.

    And it is only Singapore because no citizens are granted any sense of privacy or any laws to defend it. That’s why the first ISP Singtel/Singnet ACTUALLY allowed Odex to take what they want.

    Because it is ONLY Singapore that those Federal Lords find it possible to try their luck in pushing poor peasants here to pay “settlement fees” and be tagged as their slaves for life.

  • How ethical is it to sue the Anime downloaders, of which there are millions, instead of the illegal uploaders, the actual source of all downloads? Stopping the problem at its source is certainly more efficient than cracking down on all Anime downloaders. This leads me to believe that the production companies involved are merely making a statement that they do not condone these kind of actions, whereas they are profiting from the exposure of their merchandise and branding as a result of piracy, and steering away from the image of being money grabbing law enforcers, as irrational as that image may be. As I recall, Sunrise earns much, much, more for their Gunpla products than their Gundam Anime licenses.

  • i’m singaporean and i did receive a letter from this round of odex inquisitions, from a certain anime studio. this actually happened 3 months ago. theres a simple reason why the anime studios have bothered to threaten people here, its easy money. they pay their lawyers a nominal fee to write up a suitably impressive letter full of law jargon crap which scares the hell out of the average person. of course it explicitly states in the letter that the studio will be willing to settle,the poor frightened anime fan then pays them S$5000 to get out of his life. think of the thousands of people they hit with this letter and imagine the millions they stand to make if all the people actually pay up. to date i haven’t heard of a case where they have actually sued an offender who refused to settle in court, probably because they’re aren’t sure that they’ll win. they don’t want the cash cow to dry up.

  • Are they still doing that?
    Worst company in the land.
    You think they would be out of business by now because of this. I figured Singaporeans would stop buying ODEX DVDs to show their disdain for the company and their actions, and the place would fold.
    However, that plan is difficult, what with their monopoly on the Singapore anime market and an unwillingness, I’m sure, to just abandon the hawt animoo because they have an overly protective father.

    If I remember correctly, shortly after the incident started, maybe six months or so, ODEX made a public statement that claimed they wish they “had not done this” to their customer base, and that they wish they “could take it back”, but it would of course be too difficult to return people’s money and make amends. Of course.

    I certainly don’t think they have the right. This tactic was wrong, and it came without warning initially. All of a sudden, without the threat of a crackdown, people had to pay the fines.
    Even if it was the production companies, that were leading this, and not some distributor, I may feel more sympathetic, but not if THEY went the same route. The producers themselves may have more right in the matter, but this is not how you make friends and influence others in the business market.

    I remember after this began, I volunteered to email DVD’s of downloaded anime of his choice to Tsubaki, the poor lad.

      • Well, that aside, if you don’t support the series by watching it on television, then the ratings will fall.

        But I suppose it is much more difficult to accuse someone of having watched an episode of an ODEX show, than to find them having purchased a physical DVD copy.

        But if they did not watch the televised ODEX properties, would this not harm the company as well?

  • Just go for direct DL or Mirc…
    your connection with torrent can easily be exposed under the peers tab menu…

    Direct-dl on the other hand, make the whole regulation harder especially if the server/irc bots that host the file is on other country

    if getting local ISP to reveal personal information is not hard enough…try international (still does not save you from being sued…but it make Odex tracking you much harder)

  • liangyinglee says:

    The fact that Odex does not do much about promoting/subbing anime in Singapore and goes about suing people tells much about their company.

    Most people never even heard of Odex before till the incident happened.

      • Singtel/Singnet did not bother to put up with a fight.

        Starhub lost.

        PacificNet manage to convince the Judge that Odex CANNOT do it as they ONLY have one title, Gundam Seed, which grants them the ability to do whatever they like.

        Still the Judge told them to pass the ips to the Federal Lords anyway.

        Yeah. Technically a flat out loss.

    • it’s the ONLY anime distributor you mean. And no, I highly doubt anybody buys from them anymore after the xedo saga.

      P.S. I live in Singapore and I never knew about Odex until they started sueing people. The closest thing to anime I get in video stores so far are outdated anime series.

      Considering the fact that Singapore’s domestic market is quite small and that there weren’t any moves to promote anime in Singapore I am not surprised if they don’t earn profit from sales (but from sueing). And did I mention that they are in VCD format?

  • It’s really because nobody bothered to buy their fugly silver VCD boxes.

    Yeah.. you heard it right.


    And the best part is;
    Odex only has exclusive rights to act independantly on Gundam Seed. And of course BAYTSP made a “honest mistake” to trail 3 downloaders from USA/Europe/Japan.

    These anime companies are looking at Singapore only BECAUSE of one company made look easy to find easy prey from Singapore.

    If anything, the very same anime companies are blaming the huge hordes for lack of their overpriced DVD sales.

  • ehh..~~ dont they do that in the US though? when anime’s become licensed they get websites to stop distributing ?.. or is that just for manga

    ‘The case received coverage because of issues of individual privacy, intellectual property and free use of the Internet.’