Figure 1: Copyright Act amendments

Various amendments to the Copyright Act recently took effect (Figure 1). The amendments keep the legislation fresh while increasing protection for students, performers and artists. The top 10 changes are as follows:

  • Owners of copyright in sound recordings are now able to collect new fees for public broadcasts of their sound recordings. Similar developments have recently taken place in Indonesia.
  • The sale of internet protocol television (IPTV) boxes (devices that can be used to illegally download and stream media content) is now forbidden. For details of IPTV clampdowns in Malaysia and Singapore, please see "Malaysia clamps down on illegal IPTV streaming devices" and "English Premier League aims to boot out online piracy in Singapore".
  • Copyright in works created under commission now belongs to the creator by default. This includes:
    • portraits;
    • photographs;
    • engravings;
    • sound recordings; and
    • films.
  • Works must now be clearly attributed to their creator or performer whenever they are used in public.
  • The use of online resources for educational purposes has now been legislated for, in favour of students and schools.
  • Computer analysis of copyrighted works (with the aim of extracting metadata) has now been legislated for, in favour of data miners.
  • Copyright protection of unpublished works is now 70 years after the death of the author. This includes literary, dramatic, musical and artistic (LDMA) works.
  • Certain exceptions to the Copyright Law can no longer be amended via a contract – for example, the computational data analysis provision listed above.
  • The term "fair dealing" has now been replaced with the term "fair use".
  • The work of institutions such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums has been made easier via new exceptions.

For further information on this topic please contact Ian Mirandah at Mirandah Asia by telephone (+60 322 788 686) or email ([email protected]). The Mirandah Asia website can be accessed at