Singapore passes copyright amendment

07-07-2014

Singapore passes copyright amendment

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The Singapore government has passed an amendment to its Copyright Act that allows right holders to ask courts to order the blocking of suspected infringing websites.

The new measures, passed today, Tuesday 8, enable copyright owners to apply directly to the courts to obtain the orders instead of having to establish liability of internet service providers (ISPs).

Titled Public Consultation on Proposed Amendments to the Copyright Act, the initial proposals, published by the Ministry of Law (MoL) earlier this year, named “websites whose primary purpose is to offer infringing content” as the prime target.

An initial consultation period on the proposals ended on April 21.

Previously, right holders were told to issue takedown notices to ISPs.

If ISPs did not respond, copyright owners would then need to sue for copyright infringement and seek an injunction.

But the MoL said the feedback it received showed this had not been done due to the potential uncertainty during trials, including the liability of an ISP.

“This judicial process is more efficient and avoids implicating the ISPs unnecessarily,” the MoL said.

Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said the new laws will give copyright owners greater ability to protect their rights online.

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

"It can also undermine our reputation as a society that respects the protection of IP."

When it first published its proposals, the MoL said there was a “high level” of consumption of online copyright infringing content in Singapore.

“This adversely affects Singapore’s creative sector and the livelihoods of people working in these industries. It also undermines our reputation as an economy that respects the protection of IP,” the MoL said.

Singapore, MoL, piracy, copyright infringement, ISP

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