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Singapore passes law to block illegal sites

The Singapore government has passed an amendment to the country's Copyright Act that will let content owners compel service providers to block infringing sites, like Pirate Bay.

The Pirate Bay's Web site.
The Pirate Bay's web site will soon be blocked in Singapore. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Announced back in April, the new amendment to Singapore's Copyright Act will provide content owners with the ability make Internet service providers in the country block illegal web sites such as the infamous Pirate Bay.

Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said the new law will give copyright owners "greater ability to protect their rights in the online space."

"The prevalence of online piracy in Singapore turns customers away from legitimate content and adversely affects Singapore's creative sector," Rajah said.

The new law is reportedly set to come into force at the end of August, and copyright owners can apply to the court in Singapore without having to establish the liability of the network service provider. Previously, copyright owners had to send a take-down notice, but as it was not mandatory to comply, service providers did not need to act.

Given that it's relatively easy to use a VPN service to bypass the block, the block is likely to really only affect the less tech-savvy users (who just enter URLs into a browser window).