Solarmovie.ph is first piracy website to be blocked under amended Copyright Act

The Motion Picture Association, which includes Star Wars (pictured) owner Walt Disney, said that movie download site Solarmovie was found to be flagrantly infringing intellectual property.
The Motion Picture Association, which includes Star Wars (pictured) owner Walt Disney, said that movie download site Solarmovie was found to be flagrantly infringing intellectual property.PHOTO: AFP
Singapore Internet service providers have been told to disable access to movie download website Solarmovie.ph.
Singapore Internet service providers have been told to disable access to movie download website Solarmovie.ph.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WEBSITE

SINGAPORE - Internet users here will soon lose access to movie download website Solarmovie.ph, the first website to be blocked under Singapore's amended Copyright Act that took effect in December 2014.

Last Thursday (Feb 11), Singapore's High Court ordered Internet service providers (ISPs) here such as Singtel, StarHub and M1 to disable access to the website as the latter was found to be "flagrantly infringing" intellectual property, said the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in a statement late Tuesday (Feb 16).

MPA's members include Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.

Its Asia-Pacific president and managing director, Mr Mike Ellis, said: "It is important that the creative industries are able to work via Singapore's High Court to take a reasonable step forward to limit content theft... Piracy websites not only stifle the growth of legal online platforms for movies and television shows, they may also pose a risk of malware infection."

Singapore's amended Copyright Act lets content owners seek a High Court order to get ISPs to block piracy websites. Before the revised law, they could not compel ISPs to block pirated content.

Solarmovie.ph is one of the most frequently accessed pirate sites in the world, according to Alexa rankings and access to the site has been disabled in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom.

According to Compete.com, Solarmovie.ph had an audience of 2.2 million unique visitors in January 2016.