Singapore introduced a new Draft Copyright Bill to replace the Copyright Act

Singapore introduced a new Draft Copyright Bill to replace the Copyright Act

Singapore introduced a new Draft Copyright Bill to replace the Copyright Act

The Singapore Ministry of Law and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore have recently launched a public consultation to seek feedback on the draft of a proposed Copyright Bill. This new Draft Copyright Bill is meant to replace the present Copyright Act. The consultation period will end on 1 April 2021. The bill is expected to be enacted in the third quarter of 2021 and to be put into effect 1 month later. 

The public consultation

The Ministry of Law and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore started the first part of the public consultation for Singapore’s Draft Copyright Bill on February 5, 2021. The second part of the consultation took placed on February 22, 2021.

The first part of the consultation aims to gather feedback on whether the draft Bill will rightly implement suggestions raised during a 2016 public consultation. The Bill also seeks the public’s evaluation on whether the language used is transparent and more simply explained.

The second part seeks to gather feedback on legislative provisions relating to the regulation of collective management organizations – issues that were raised for public consultation in 2017 and 2020.

Both public consultations will end on April 1, 2021.

Key proposals in the new Copyright Bill

Singapore’s Draft Copyright Bill identifies new civil and criminal liabilities for commercial dealings in illegal TV set-top boxes amidst other enhanced remedies.

Moreover, the Bill re-structures the Copyright Act by classifying the content into themes and setting all exceptions in a single Part. It also simplifies the language for a more straightforward perception.

The draft Bill signifies a major reconstruction of the current Copyright Act in many aspects: 

  • Old-fashioned phrases are replaced with clear, understandable English;
  • A principle-based formulation has been adopted to provide for a more dynamic regime that can better adapt to technological changes; 
  • A thematic, more streamlined structure has been adopted for improved clarity; 
  • Several new rights and exceptions have been introduced.

The key proposals can be summarised into these main features:

  1. Commissioned works – Creator will be the default copyright owner
  2. Sound recordings and films created by employees in the course of employment – Employer will be the default copyright owner
  3. Unpublished works – Duration of copyright protection to be limited
  4. New right of attribution to be given to creators
  5. Changes to be made to the general “fair use” exception
  6. New exception for the reproduction of works for text and data mining
  7. New exception for not-for-profit schools to use works available on the Internet for educational purposes
  8. New exceptions/amendments to exceptions pertaining to (i) galleries, libraries, archives, and museums; (ii) print-disabled users; and (iii) official government registers
  9. Expansion of the list of exceptions in the Copyright Act that may not be restricted by contracts
  10. Liabilities for engaging in commercial dealings with set-top boxes that stream AV content from unauthorized sources

Members of the public, particularly legal practitioners, academics, content creators, content users, performers, and interested institutions are welcomed to provide their feedback. View the full documentation of the public consultation paper on the Proposed Copyright Bill here.

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

*** Other Articles***

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