Business News Digital Legal

Singapore considering web-blocking system

By | Published on Wednesday 9 April 2014

Singapore Law Ministry

Law-makers in Singapore are considering new rules that will make it easier for rights owners to secure web-block injunctions in the island nation.

Web-blocking has, of course, become quite common in a number of jurisdictions, including the UK, whereby courts issue injunctions ordering internet service providers to stop their customers from accessing copyright infringing websites.

The web-blocks are particularly useful where infringing sites are based beyond the jurisdiction of any one country’s courts, though critics point out that it’s actually quite easy for web-users to circumvent the blockades using proxy sites and a trusty search engine.

In some country’s specific new laws have enabled web-blocking, whilst elsewhere, as in the UK, judges interpreted existing copyright law as allowing such orders. Bespoke laws, though, can speed up the injunction process, and also provide protection for accused websites, to allay fears expressed by critics that sites that regularly infringe copyright via user or automated activity, but which are ultimately legit operations, could be targeted.

Singapore’s Law Ministry is considering such rules as we speak, according to local news site Today, and will likely set out guidelines as to what constitutes an infringing site whereby a web-block injunction would be an appropriate sanction. The new laws could be implemented in Singapore by the end of the year, allowing rights owners to begin a web-block frenzy there.