MPA to distribute piracy awareness booklets


MUMBAI: The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will distribute 200,000 copies of a Motion Picture Association-developed booklet outlining the dangers of illegal peer-to-peer file sharing to the country’s secondary school and junior college students.

The HIP (Honour IP) Alliance, a public awareness initiative of IPOS, will oversee the distribution, says a release. The booklets, titled “Illegal File-Sharing: The Risks Aren’t Worth It”, were developed by the MPA to warn young people that users of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services risk exposing their computers to harmful viruses, worms, Trojan horses and annoying pop-ups, and risk data loss and identity theft.

The booklets note that since many P2P applications require users to upload – often invisibly – content at the same time they are downloading, users may be exposing themselves to criminal liability as well.

The “Illegal File-Sharing: The Risks Aren’t Worth It” booklets will be distributed to students attending all of Singapore’s 164 secondary schools and 16 junior colleges, and copies will be available at all of the country’s 23 National Library branches.

The US Supreme Court and other judicial bodies around the world have ruled that P2P service providers can be held liable for illegal file sharing over their networks, and it has been estimated that the majority of traffic on P2P networks worldwide illegally infringes the copyrights of movie, music and software businesses, the release adds.

Since 2002, IPOS has actively engaged the public through the HIP Alliance to educate people in the need to respect intellectual property, says the MPA. The HIP Alliance has rolled out more than 50 initiatives jointly supported by government and industry, and this year will focus on highlighting the challenges brought about by technological advancement, such as Internet piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods onlinem, says the release.