The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Odex, Pacific Net and Gamesmart

Once upon a time there was a company called Gamesmart that hung out at Orchard MRT (train station). They were an ambitious company that wanted to make "A LOT OF MONEY". They sold computer games and the like. These were expensive to buy from the suppliers - but then they had a BIG IDEA.

What was the BIG IDEA? To copy the games illegally from the suppliers - and then sell the fake games as if they were real goods. This is called counterfeiting - and it is also copyright infringement. According to net sources (including one at a ChannelNewsAsia forum) - the goods stolen in this way included Sony Playstation 2 titles.

Anyway, for a time, all was well. Gamesmart raked in the money and the Gamesmart boys were as happy as happy could be. But then, came a BAD DAY. The police raided their store and all their world fell apart. Two Gamesmart employees served jail sentences, as a result (ChannelNewsAsia forum, source).

Now, why am I talking to you about Gamesmart? Who are they? Well, the oddest of odd things is that Gamesmart has two key directors in common with Odex Pte Ltd. This is a most ironic circumstance for Odex is now pursuing a case against thousands of Singaporeans for copyright violations. Yet, hang on a minute, is that not hypocritical when the two key directors in both companies are the SAME MEN?

If you doubt this, please go to:

Here you will find the ACRA records (Singapore government accounting body), for Gamesmart. You will note that Sing Xin Yang and Go Wei Ho Peter are directors of Gamesmart. As noted and shown in my previous posts on Odex they are also the two key players in Odex.

Now, Odex is seeking up to $5,000 from each person who downloaded Japanese anime cartoons such as Gundam Seed and Inuyasha, without payment, on the internet. They are seeking compensation for copyright infringement. There is nothing truly controversial about that: copyright is copyright and infringement is infringement - however, what has now become clear - and which was not clear when I posted on them before, is that the people behind Odex have, historically, been involved with a company that was itself charged with copyright violations and the manufacture of counterfeit goods - and was convicted.

All this leads us to a new understanding of the Odex, Pacific Net/Starhub/Singtel/Singnet situation. Whether or not Go or Sing were themselves instrumental in the Gamesmart violation, they were directors of Gamesmart, which was convicted of such violations. Therefore their stand now, against thousands of others who have infringed copyright on titles in which they have business interests, is truly hypocritical. In a moral sense, it seems doubtful that those who have themselves been involved in the infringement of copyright can take much of a stand on another case, in which their own rights are infringed.

Look at this more deeply. I have shown that there is a proven connection between Odex and AVPAS - the Anti-Video Piracy Association of Singapore - in a previous post. How would those Japanese Anime Producers feel if they learnt that Odex, who they have clearly entrusted with the AVPAS work (since they are the administrative contact for AVPAS) - and were appointed by them to pursue this copyright case in Singapore - had, themselves, a history of copyright theft/violation through the past business history of their trusted appointees? (That is those appointees were directors of a company that was convicted of counterfeiting).

This is a very worrying development, not just for this case - but for the whole issue of copyright protection here in Singapore. From all these connections of the Odex directors to Gamesmart and AVPAS, it is clear that the guardians of copyright for anime here, in Singapore, AVPAS, have a link to the Odex directors, who themselves have a link to a company convicted of counterfeiting/copyright violations. Thus the old latin question arises: "Who guards the guards themselves?"

However, IP (intellectual property) must be strongly protected if there is to be any IP to protect. So, this situation does not detract from the need to protect from IP. It also does not make illegal downloading of anime or anything else legally right, either. Yet, it does point out the need to fully understand the situation. Who is it who complains of copyright theft? Have they ever done so themselves? If so, is it not hypocritical to then cry "thief" when another steals from them?

There is a moral solution here. Everyone who stole from Odex could pay a fine. Yes. But then Odex should pay Sony Playstation the same quantum for EVERY TITLE COPY THEY FORGED. By this, I mean that if there are 3,000 downloaders who have to pay 5,000 dollars each...then, unfortunate though it is for those individuals, the law might require them to pay. Yet, given the history of the situation, it would seem moral if the Odex directors also paid Sony the same sum for every copy made. If they made 10,000 copies then they should pay 5,000 dollars to Sony for every instance of violation. That would be both just - and funny.

However, it won't happen, because though they share the same key directors, Odex and Gamesmart are separate entities in law and cannot be pursued for the actions of each other. Yet, as a thought experiment, it has a certain satisfactory moral bite to it.

Let us see how the courts untangle this mess - for truly it is vastly more complex and subtle than at first, it seemed. Perhaps there are even more secrets lurking out there to be discovered.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and eight months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and one month, and Tiarnan, eighteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:42 AM 


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