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MinLaw seeks feedback in its Public Consultation on proposed changes to Copyright Act

On Tuesday (23 August) the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) launched a public consultation to gather public feedback on proposed changes to Singapore’s copyright regime which will be ongoing for two months, ending on 24 October 2016.

MinLaw noted that Immense changes in how copyrighted works are created, distributed, accessed, and used were led by the technological developments in the past decade.

It further noted that copyright law must keep pace with modern developments so as to support creativity and innovation and that this review seeks to ensure that Singapore's copyright regime continues to provide an environment that benefits both creators and users.

The Ministry proposed the review as part of a number of wide-ranging revisions it is suggesting to be made to the Copyright Act, which was last updated in 2004.

Senior Minister of State for Law & Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah said, “This is a wide ranging review which aims to help creators gain more recognition and practical protection for their works, while providing users with reasonable and easier access to those works. We would particularly like to see individuals and small businesses come forward and provide their views in this public consultation. This will help the Government take into account all stakeholders’ views so as to improve our copyright regime to better support the creative economy.”

According to MinLaw, the key changes to the Act are as follow,

1.    To provide creators with more recognition and practical protection, some of the key proposed recommendations for creators are:

(i)    Creators will own the Copyright in certain specific works they are commissioned to create unless they agree otherwise.

(ii)    Creators will have a right of attribution – which will enable them to ask that they be credited as the creator, regardless of whether they still own the Copyright.

2.    In order for our Copyright regime to adapt to modern developments, some of the key proposed recommendations for users are:

(i)    Not-for-profit schools will be able to continue to develop and enhance their pedagogy using digital tools and the internet. For example, teachers and students will now be able to fully utilise online student portals to reproduce and share content to enhance learning.

(ii)    Everyone can, subject to certain conditions, use “orphan works” even though the owner cannot be identified and contacted for consent.

(iii)    Allowing text and data mining for the purposes of data analysis. This will support the growth of the data analytics business sector.

A summary of the issues under consultation can be found in here.

Members of the public are invited to submit their views by 24 October 2016 (5pm). They may submit feedback online via http://www.mlaw.gov.sg/CopyrightReview or in hard copy to the following address:

Intellectual Property Policy Division
Ministry of Law
100 High Street
#08-02, The Treasury
Singapore 179434

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