On 8 July 2014, the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 (the “Bill”) was passed in Parliament. The Bill was introduced in Parliament on 29 May 2014 following a public consultation which the Ministry of Law (the “MinLaw”) conducted between 7 and 21 April 2014. The amendments to the Copyright Act will be effective on a date to be published in the Government Gazette.
Essentially, a copyright owner or an exclusive licensee of the work would find it easier under the amended Copyright Act to obtain a permanent court injunction to prevent public access to copyright infringing material on the Internet as there is no need to first establish the liability of the network service provider or internet service provider. The amendments simplify the judicial process and target online locations that clearly and flagrantly infringe copyright. However, a copyright owner who would like to disable access to, or remove, specific parts of a website would have to rely on other existing mechanisms in the Copyright Act because the new measure only targets entire websites.
The amended Copyright Act empowers the High Court to decide whether an online location has been or is being used to flagrantly commit or facilitate infringement of copyright in materials. A non-exhaustive list of factors will guide the court’s consideration in determining what constitutes such flagrant infringement, such as whether the online location’s primary function is to commit or facilitate copyright infringement, and whether the owner of the online location demonstrates a disregard for copyright.
For more information, the following materials are available from the MinLaw website www.mlaw.gov.sg: