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Saturday, October 23, 2004Techdirt highlights from the RIAA-making-laws dept- Graham writes "In Singapore, it will now be a crime to *download* music, movies and computer programs . This is a change from the usual 'crime' of file-sharing. The thing that I thought was really interesting about this is that "The change was inevitable as it was required under the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, said Mr Lau Kok Keng, head of intellectual property, technology, entertainment and communications practice at law firm Rajah and Tann." So, it sounds like the RIAA and MPAA are fighting their battles overseas through Free Trade Agreements rather than suing kids overseas... I've not had a chance to research this elsewhere to see if it is really downloading that will be the fine but the story was pretty clear that it is." This version of the same story clarifies that The laws specifically refer to people who break the law "to obtain a commercial advantage" or infringe significantly, meaning individuals who download a limited number of songs or movies off the Internet for personal use may be exempt.A spokeswoman for the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore said the courts would be left to interpret the definition of "significant". The tougher laws are part of Singapore's commitments to its free trade agreement signed with the United States that came into effect this year.Previously people who breached software and Internet copyright laws in Singapore were only subject to civil action.Tougher penalties for the illegal manufacturing, sale and distribution of software remain unaffacted by the new laws.
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