S'pore tops pay-TV piracy in region

SINGAPORE - It's official: Singapore is one of the top countries involved in pay-TV piracy.

According to a report this month by media-research firm Media Partners Asia, Singapore has the fifth-highest percapita infringement rates globally.

The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) and media- and technology-law firm Olswang said yesterday that the report showed that Singapore, despite its small population, has the "highest per-capita incidence of peer-to-peer infringement of English-language pay-TV shows in the Asia-Pacific region".

Singapore is also ranked 24th out of at least 48 international markets, in terms of global infringement by volume.

This is only one spot behind South Korea, which had a population of 49.8 million last year, compared to Singapore's 5.2 million that year, based on World Bank population estimates.

So, to fight against online piracy, Casbaa and Olswang have come up with Singapore's first online directory for free and pay-TV content available from legitimate sources. It was launched yesterday.

Called www.finddigitaltv.

com, it allows users to search for content by genre or device.

Ms Elle Todd, a partner at Olswang, said consumerawareness of availability of legitimate content was also found to be low, based on a report Casbaa and Olswang did.

She added that she hopes consumers will be "pleasantly surprised at the variety and richness" of available services aggregated in the directory.

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