The Coalition Against Piracy, which counts Walt Disney, HBO, the National Basketball Association and the English Premier League as members, has called Singapore ‘a haven for pirating copyrighted programming’.
According to Bloomberg, the coalition wants the Singapore government to block pirating software in legitimate set-top boxes that allows unauthorized streaming of thousands of movies, TV shows and live sporting events.
These set-top boxes can be found at local electronics stores and on e-commerce sites such as Lazada, and allows Singaporeans to use apps that stream uncensored versions of nudity and violence programming not shown locally because of censorship, no licensing deals and subscription fees.
“Within the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is the worst in terms of availability of illicit streaming devices,” said Neil Gane, general manager of Coalition Against Piracy. “They have access to hundreds of illicit broadcasts of channels and video-on-demand content.”
The Singapore government does not consider the devices, which can also view legal streaming sites like YouTube, to be illegal. However, in 2016, it blocked movie download site Solarmovie.ph under its amended Copyright Act, which came into effect in December 2014.