What Is The Law On Copyright In Singapore? Copyright law is a form of intellectual property law that applies to both published and unpublished works.
It ascertains exclusive rights to persons creating original work of authorship, including literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, and other creative works. However, copyright law only protects tangible work such as recording or writing, but not facts or ideas.
Any violation, including distribution, copying, displaying, or performing someone’s work without authorization, constitutes copyright infringement.
You do not need to register for copyright protection in Singapore as soon as you produce your original work. The government automatically guarantees you copyright protection, and anyone who willfully or deliberately infringes your copyright is subject to prosecution.
Works in this category include scenarios in plays and films (dramatic) and an arrangement of musical notes. It also contains results of artistic craftsmanship, such as photographs, sculptures, paintings, drawings, or buildings (artistic).
In addition, works containing readable information, including text in books, computer programs, and articles in publications, are subject to copyright. Irrespective of the quality, the Copyright Act each work guarantees as soon as owners produce them in tangible form.
Any original work produced by persons in Singapore is subject to copyright. Original work means creating art, literature, or periodicals contents that are unique and yours. Two similar but independently produced works can still be considered authentic, and the copyright for use automatically applies to both.
For a work to be given copyright protection in Singapore, owners must directly attach it to the country. It means that any work produced from other countries cannot be guaranteed copyright protection by the Singapore government.
It does not count if third parties use it within its territories. Therefore, the work should be first published in Singapore by a Singapore resident or a foreigner living in the country.
The Copyright Act protects work if its original owners present them in written or recorded format. It has to be solid and not imaginary and can be touched. Any work producers do not present in tangible form is not accorded copyright protection by the Singapore government.
You do not need to obtain a copyright license for your work in Singapore. Instead, you acquire copyright immediately after you produce it for use. However, the Copyright Act of Singapore gives license work for use by third parties through licensing agreements.
When you license it, you retain ownership of your work as a third party uses your copyright. But, if you choose to assign it to a third party, you lose your copyright protection completely.
There are situations where copyright ownership is lodged in another party apart from the owner of a work. Such scenarios are common in written works published in periodicals such as magazines, journals, and newspapers. They occur when;
The author created the work when the publisher employed him or her. In this case, the employer reserves the right to use copyright for published work, but not the author.
Copyright in Singapore lasts for some time after the release of the original work. Copyright for broadcasts lasts for 50 years after they are first published. For performances, films, photographs, and sound recordings, copyright lasts for 70 years after being first published. Henceforth, the copyright expires.
However, Singapore provides for copyright protection rights and use, even after the original producer of the work passes on. After death, the producer’s original work is copyrighted for 70 years, after which it lapses. From then on, the public is allowed to use it without infringing any copyright.
Any third party who uses the original work without service authorization is subject to copyright infringement in Singapore. The copyright owner can therefore take legal action in two processes;