Ministry of Law and IPOS seek public feedback on draft Copyright Bill

Ministry of Law and IPOS seek public feedback on draft Copyright Bill

Ministry of Law, Singapore
File photo: Singapore's Ministry of Law.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) are seeking public feedback on a draft Bill that will seek to repeal and replace the current Copyright Act.

The draft Bill aims to update current legislation by introducing new rights for content creators, expanding rights of use for users and enhanced remedies for intermediaries.  

These changes will “better address how copyrighted works are produced and used today,” the authorities said in a news release on Friday (Feb 5).

The Bill will also enhance the “clarity and accessibility” of the law, MinLaw and IPOS added.

Creators will be better protected under the draft Bill, which gives creators and performers “a right to be identified whenever their works or performances are used publicly”.

They will also – by default – own their commissioned work, including photographs, portraits, engravings, sound recordings and films, unless otherwise stated in a contract.

The Bill will also offer all users of copyrighted works “expanded rights of use”.

For teachers and students, this means a new right to use appropriate online materials for educational purposes, whether for face-to-face sessions of online learning.

Galleries, libraries, archives and museums will also have expanded rights for certain uses of works to facilitate their work. This may be for the purposes of an exhibition or the preservation and cataloguing of works.

A third category of users – the intermediaries – will also benefit from the draft Bill, which provides for “new civil and criminal liabilities for commercial dealings in illicit TV set-top boxes”. Illegal set-top boxes are typically used to steam content without the necessary permission from copyright owners.

The public consultation will be done in two parts, both ending on Apr 1. 

Part one of the public consultation, which begins on Feb 5, will seek views on whether the draft Bill will "appropriately implement recommendations previously raised for public consultation in 2016 and published in a report in 2019", said the authorities. 

It will also seek views on whether the revised language in the draft Bill makes the legislation easily understandable. 

The second part of the public consultation, which will be released on Feb 22, will seek "views on legislative provisions relating to the regulation of collective management organisations, which were separately raised for public consultations in 2017 and 2020", said MinLaw and IPOS.

Members of the public, particularly legal practitioners, academics, content creators, content users, performers and interested institutions are invited to provide their feedback, and can view the public consultation paper here.

All feedback should be titled “Feedback on Copyright Bill Consultation Paper” and emailed to MLAW_Consultation@mlaw.gov.sg. 

Source: CNA/vc(ta)

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