On 6 July 2021, the Copyright Bill (the “Bill”) was tabled in Parliament.
The Bill seeks to repeal and replace the current Copyright Act. Further, the Bill aims to strengthen the Singapore copyright regime and will introduce several new rights and exceptions.
We have set out below a high-level summary of some of the proposed key changes. This list is not exhaustive. If the Bill is passed, most of its provisions is expected to be operationalised in November 2021.
Creators and performers will have to be properly attributed for their works in a clear and reasonably prominent manner.
Creators of photographs, portraits, engravings, sound recordings and films will by default (unless otherwise agreed in a contract) be the first owners, even if they were commissioned to make those works.
Sound recording companies will have a new right to collect licence fees for the broadcast or public performance of commercially published sound recordings.
Such licence fees may be administered and collected by collective management organisations (CMOs).
Copyright works, if lawfully accessed, may be used for computational data analysis (e.g. sentiment analysis, text and data mining, or training machine learning), without needing to seek each copyright owner’s permission.
Schools and students may use freely available online resources for educational uses, without having to seek each copyright owner’s permission. This is provided that the source is acknowledged, and the date of access is cited.
Copyright protection of literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works will expire 70 years after the author dies, whether such work is published or unpublished.
For anonymous or pseudonymous authorial works and films, the copyright protection on such works will expire 70 years after the work is made, after being made available to the public, or after the work is first published (as the case may be).
The general “fair dealing” exception will be changed to the more commonly used “fair use” term.
In addition, the requirement to demonstrate in all cases the possibility of obtaining a work within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price will be removed.
The current list of “permitted uses” exceptions that may not be restricted by contract will be expanded to include additional exceptions, most notably, computational data analysis (e.g. data mining).
In addition, all other exceptions may only be excluded or restricted by contract if:
We have the following practical pointers to make: