BTW the organization mentioned in the letter AVPAS (Anti-Piracy Association of Singapore) is similar to the RIAA/RIAS except that Odex appears to be the sole active member. The organization has obtained authorizations from various Japanese studios to represent their rights for all their copyrighted works, even those that are not licensed by Odex for distribution in Singapore. The full list of titles can be found on their website.
Read on for my thoughts.
That said, I am very, very curious as to how Odex, a private entity, managed to obtain personal data from the ISPs based on purely circumstantial evidences. As far as I can see from the AVPAS member list, there is zero indication that it is anything but a private organization. It is related to neither the police nor the relevant government agencies. Therefore, it is the anime equivalent of the RIAA.
However, RIAA, as mighty and powerful as it appears to be, is not able to obtain any personal information from American ISPs directly. It has to do it through the court. That means that it has to first start the legal procedures before the court issues a subpoena that forces the ISP to reveal the identity of the defender and summons the person to court. The defenders in these lawsuits are given the generic name “John Doe” because their names are undisclosed by their ISPs until after the court subpoena. In such cases, the first letter received by the poor sob should be from his own ISP informing him of the existence of such a subpoena for his identity.
The above letter is addressed to the person himself and was sent directly by Odex. This means that Odex, without first going through any legal proceedings, is able to obtain personal information directly from the ISPs using only the IP address. That is insane if you consider the amount of invasive power that has been put into the hands of private company and the potential for abuse by individuals with their personal agendas.
You know, there’s a certain someone whom I really hate on a certain forum. I will fake produce a record of his IP address illegally torrenting a picture that I once drew during a particularly boring physics lecture. I shall then e-mail this “proof” to Singnet and ask for this person’s home address. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll go spend a few bucks to register a company to make the request seem more legitimate…
Of course Odex is a legitimate company that is trying to protect its rights under the current intellectual property rights law (flawed as it may be). But my point is that if a private entity can obtain such information without the prior knowledge of the people involved and without the authority of the court, then what exactly in our legal system is protecting our privacy from abuse by some unscrupulous characters? And if such protection of personal privacy does indeed exist, what exactly allows Odex to bypass it?
Then again, I’m not well-versed with the local legal system. Maybe our privacy laws are really that screwed up. Oh well.
Read this excellent explanation of the “RIAA vs. John Doe” lawsuits, particularly the sections on “How the RIAA identifies the people they sue” and “The Lawsuit Begins”, and compare it to what Odex is apparently authorized to do. Doesn’t RIAA look like the better alternative?
So what are your remaining options for your weekly anime fix?
- Direct download sites
- Obscure Chinese Bittorrent trackers
- XDCC bots on IRC
- Download raws off Winny/Share
- Move to Japan
- Find a job at Odex
Alternatively, find a safer hobby like playing pirated computer games or serial jaywalking.