Odorous Odex

The ongoing Odex saga has caused much uproar amongst the anime community. Odex has seemingly taken advantage of parents’ fear of their children getting prosecuted and becoming blackmarked for life to extort exhorbitant sums of money from them. The judge’s decision to protect the identities of Pacific Internet subscribers suggests his disapproval of Odex’s ostensibly harsh punitive actions. But Odex has fought back with strong support from Japanese anime companies. It may be a lost cause for the anime community but something good may come out of this saga.

No, I’m not referring to greater respect for intellectual property. Coercive methods serve to increase the fear of the consequences of getting caught more than anything else. The good that I see, is that deprived of free anime, many teenagers and young adults might become weened of Japanese anime and move on to more beneficial endeavours like studies or sports.

Lastly I would like to attempt to explain why Singapore has the highest per capita number of illegal anime downloaders in the world. I am of the opinion that it has something to do with our high broadband internet prices. It is true that while countries like Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong have very competitive broadband rates, we on the other hand have some of the most expensive broadband rates in the world. Think about it, who would pay $60 a month just to check email and do light surfing? $60 is a lot of money to a student and you can be rest assured that he would want to make the most out of his expensive internet connection.

It was reported in the news yesterday that Starhub’s court case with Singnet has been settled out of court. I remember Singnet fighting tooth and nail with Starhub over commercial interests yet when it came to protecting consumers, Singnet did practically next to nothing.


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