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Singapore's Ministry of Law and IPOS consults on proposed changes to Singapore’s copyright regime

Big changes in the works for copyright rules

27 April 2017

A new right of attribution, new exemptions from liability for copyright infringement; and establishment of a copyright registry among suggested changes.

The Ministry of Law and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore is consulting on the proposed changes to Singapore’s copyright regime. The proposals are intended to update the Copyright Act  1987 (as revised) to ensure that Singapore's copyright regime continues to provide an environment that benefits both creators and users.

MinLaw and IPOS are seeking views on a collection of sixteen issues including whether Singapore should have a voluntary system of copyright registration  and  whether certain copyright  exceptions should be allowed to be restricted by contractual terms.

Key proposed changes for creators include:
  • creators will own the copyright in certain specific works they are commissioned to create unless they agree otherwise; and
  • 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.
Key proposed  changes for users Include:
  • 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; 
  • everyone can, subject to certain conditions, use 'orphan works' even though the owner cannot be identified and contacted for consent; and 
  • 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 all the issues under consultation are set out in Annex A. Comments on the consultation are due by 24 October 2016.