Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to Copyright Regime in Singapore
Copyright is a form of intellectual property right which gives creators and producers of creative works the right to control specific uses of their works for a limited period of time.
A good copyright regime balances between providing exclusive rights as an incentive to create and disseminate new creative works, and providing appropriate access to those works for the benefit of other creators and society at large. This balance encourages the creation and dissemination of knowledge and ultimately contributes to the larger drive to foster innovation.
Copyright law has to be regularly updated in order to maintain this delicate balance in a rapidly changing world. Significant technological and market changes over the last decade due to the digital era have reshaped the ways in which content is created, distributed, and accessed.
Review of the Copyright Act
MinLaw and IPOS are reviewing the copyright regime with the objectives of ensuring that it has rights which are reasonable, clear and capable of being efficiently transacted.
The following topics reflect MinLaw’s and IPOS’ proposals on possible changes to the Singapore copyright regime. Read the full consultation paper here.
1. Establishing a voluntary copyright registration system
2. Granting creators default ownership of certain commissioned works
3. Setting an expiry date for protection of unpublished works
4. Attributing creators whenever their works are used
5. Providing information to help the creator-publisher/producer relationship
6. Protecting certain exceptions from being restricted by contracts
7. Strengthening the general “fair use” exception
8. Enabling the use of orphan works
9. Unlocking the potential of text and data mining
10. Facilitating educational uses by non-profit educational institutions
11. Facilitating the work of libraries and archives
12. Facilitating the work of museums and galleries
13. Adjusting existing provisions for print-disabled users
14. Allowing the use of non-patent literature in patent search and examination work
15. Increasing the availability of materials on official government registers
16. Updating the list of allowable circumventions of technological protection measures
There has been public interest in how this review will cover the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). VPN is a neutral technology with many different and legitimate uses, apart from accessing geo-blocked content. As there is currently no international legal consensus or approach on such practices, we are not making any recommendations regarding the use of VPNs but wish to gather the views of various stakeholders for our consideration.
(Updated on 26 Aug 2016)
Invitation for feedback
Your views are important and will help us in designing our future copyright regime in a way that takes into account the interests of all — creators, rights owners, users, businesses, and future creators.
The consultation period will run from Tuesday 23 August 2016 to Monday 24 October 2016. Instructions for providing detailed comments in writing may be found in Part IV of the full consultation paper (link above).
Alternatively, you may wish to provide feedback through our online forms. Please let us know whether you are:
- A writer, artist, musician, or other type of creator.
- A business that publishes or produces copyrighted works.
- A member of the general public.
- A business that licences or uses copyrighted works.
- Interested in all recommendations covered in the Review.
MinLaw and IPOS are also organising a briefing on the public consultation through a public town hall event on Thursday 8 September 2016, 2 PM. The briefing is open to members of the public. Registration for the first public townhall has now been closed. Thank you.
Given the level of interest for the first public townhall briefing, MinLaw and IPOS are considering organising a second public townhall briefing on Thursday 6 October 2016, 2PM. If you are interested, please register your interest here.
(Updated on 7 September 2016)
Following feedback from the public, the consultation exercise will be extended by two weeks. It will now close on Monday 7 November 2016 instead. We invite all interested parties to provide responses by then.
(Updated on 17 October 2016)
Confidentiality of Feedback Received
MinLaw and IPOS reserve the right to make public all or parts of any written submission. Commenting parties may request for confidentiality for any part of the submission that is believed to be proprietary, confidential or commercially sensitive. Any such information should be clearly marked.
- If MinLaw and IPOS grant confidential treatment, they will consider, but will not publicly disclose, the information.
- If MinLaw and IPOS reject the request for confidential treatment, they will return the information to the party that submitted it and not consider this information as part of its review.
As far as possible, parties should limit any request for confidential treatment of information submitted. MinLaw and IPOS will not accept any submission that requests confidential treatment of all, or a substantial part, of the submission.