Two recent copyright-related news in Singapore

Here are two recent copyright-related news in Singapore. Since Creative Commons is built on the foundation of Copyright, these two cases would be of interest to those following the Creative Commons movement.

#1 – They’ve only just begun – to charge
TODAYonline. 28 Dec ’09.

“… the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass)… is clamping down on the illegal use of copyrighted music for weddings.

… It has sent letters to wedding photographers and videographers asking them to buy the licences for songs they wish to use – on their corporate websites and in their works – while stopping short of suggesting active enforcement.”

The article mentions some wedding photographers/ videographers advising their customers not to use copyrighted songs in their amateur montages. One customer was quoted as saying that he has decided to “do away with music completely on his photo montage, to be shown during his wedding reception next month.

#2 – MediaCorp wins counter claims of copyright infringement against RecordTV 21 Dec ’09.

“RecordTV was held by the High Court to have infringed copyright laws by allowing users to record programmes shown on MediaCorp’s Channel 5, Channel 8 and Channel NewsAsia.

In 2007, RecordTV had sued MediaCorp for millions of dollars for groundless threats of copyright infringement. MediaCorp then counter sued.

… The judge ruled that RecordTV is liable for copyright infringement by communicating MediaCorp’s broadcasts and films to the public, and he granted MediaCorp’s request for an injunction against RecordTV.

Justice Ang also ruled that damages in favour of MediaCorp would be assessed by the Registrar.”


Related: The High Court’s judgment was reported in this article, Copyright law and the digital revolution: High Court judge lays out grounds of judgment, TODAYonline. 30 Dec ’09:

“”As technology advances, and consumers are more able to consume media in different ways, Justice Ang said “it cannot be that copyright law would have thieves of us all”.

Reformation of copyright laws to “reflect a wide array of societal interests in the digital revolution” will be a challenge to lawmakers, the industry and the public for some time to come, he said.

But the judge gave examples of how legal principles – or “straightforward, immutable maxims” – can still guide judgments.

“It is permissible to time-shift (viewing of broadcasts through recordings). It is not permissible to copy for profit. It is permissible to copy extracts for educational purposes. It is not permissible to authorise another to copy when one does not possess that authority,” he wrote in his 36-page judgment.

Stating his reasons for allowing a counter claim of copyright infringement by MediaCorp against Internet start-up RecordTV, he said he found RecordTV not liable for making infringing copies of the MediaCorp Broadcasts and Films, but found it liable for authorising the making of copies by its customers.”


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