back to article Singapore netizens slap silks for copyright bullying

Singapore's Internet Society is fighting back against lawyers for sending speculative demands on behalf of Dallas Buyers Club. The society says lawyers who sent the letters have breached the Singapore Law Society’s ethical guidelines by using threats of criminal proceedings to advance a civil legal claim. As reported by local …

  1. Thorne

    Is there a reason

    That you couldn't ask them for the mac address of the offending downloader as there is multiple people using the connection so you can forward the letter onto the correct party?

    Of course if they cannot identify the offender clearly, I really don't know where that leaves their case....

    1. Esskay

      Re: Is there a reason

      At a guess, it's because that would narrow it down - the intention isn't to be accurate, it's to make money, and being as vague and broad as possible along with threatening language is the best way to make the most money.

      [EDIT]: In addition it might be the ease of identification - an ISP can give a nice big list of which postal addresses were assigned which IP address - making bulk letter drops a simple process. MAC addresses may be (not sure) harder to attribute to a single defined address or location for the purpose of sending out letters, but I'm just stabbing in the dark there.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Is there a reason

      I assume you mean IP addresses... MAC addresses are only used on the local network segment. But even then, you can use whatever MAC you want so long as its not already in use on the network segment and has the 16th bit in the address set (to differentiate it from a multicast address). I've seen quite a bit of MAC spoofing on public networks since most non_free wifi spots authenticate with it, so if you grab one of a machine that is disconnecting, you can steal the session and get a free connection.

      1. Thorne

        Re: Is there a reason

        "I assume you mean IP addresses"

        No I mean MAC addresses. My router assigns IP addresses so I can't tell who was using the IP address at the time. I need to be given some unique identifier so the offending party can be identified.

        Giving me the IP address of my router is not good enough.

        Basically it boils down to them providing definitive proof of the offender which they cannot do. It's no different to getting a prank call down to a phone number but that still doesn't prove who made the call.

        If it comes to court, all I need prove is reasonable doubt and I can claim my wireless access was hacked. Unless they can show the mac address, they cannot prove it was my computer and as such their case will fail. Plenty of precedence where they sued old people who didn't even know what a torrent was.

        At the end of the day they will bluster a lot but they won't fight anyone that questions their methods because in court their methods might be shown to faulty which would stop them from scamming others. Short of someone admitting it, they really don't have a leg to stand on. They can only scare people with the cost of fighting them in court.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there a reason

          Does the ISP even have a list of the Mac addresses connecting through a specific IP address??

          Furthermore, does the claimant have a list of specific mac addresses that have downloaded a film?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there a reason

          > No I mean MAC addresses. My router assigns IP addresses so I can't tell who was using the IP address at the time. I need to be given some unique identifier so the offending party can be identified.

          Your ISP will only see the MAC address of your router.

          1. Thorne

            Re: Is there a reason

            "Your ISP will only see the MAC address of your router."

            Exactly thus they cannot prove who did it therefore any case will fail as they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt

            1. Code4Money

              Re: Is there a reason


              AFAIK In the UK copyright infringement is only a civil offence (as long as you're not shown to be profiting from it) not a criminal one. Thus the burden of proof is different:


              In brief a civil action only requires the balance of probability. In other words they only need to convince the judge it was most likely you that committed the offence.

              In reality you are right IP addresses don't hold water in court. Although they could be used to obtain a search and seizure warrant to look for actual evidence on your hard drive.

              Just saying.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Singapore sling!

    Tell 'em they're dreaming.

  3. nematoad Silver badge

    Should keep it to themselves.

    It has been said that the USA is not very good at exporting things.

    Well, with this case they have managed to export something. The IP scam that has been clogging up the US courts and costing innocent people a lot of money and time. The most outrageous of these schemes being the Prenda Law affair.

    With luck the cases in Singapore will not take as long to resolve though as it involves law firms and lawyers who can tell?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    worldwide scam

    we've come a full circle (and then some): lawyers imitating lawyers.

  5. Graham Marsden

    Letters [...] asked for a written offer of damages and costs,

    The correct response is, of course, that of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971)

  6. Spaceman Spiff

    Who'd want to download Dallas Buyers Club? What a piece of unmitigated shit! The studio should pay those that are stupid enough to do so...

  7. e^iπ+1=0


    Am I missing something here, or couldn't these 'Dallas' copyright owners just issue a DMCA takedown notice, allow a reasonable amount of time for compliance, THEN start complaining.

    This seems to work most often on e.g. YouTube - I have definitely come across content being pulled from there in the past.

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