Bring copyright laws in line with global norms

Bring copyright laws in line with global norms

We refer to Dr Edmund Lam's letter ("Tune in to copyright protection"; March 25) in response to Mr Chen Yongjie's letter ("Lax enforcement of music copyright laws"; March 22).

As the collective licensing body representing record companies in Singapore, the Recording Industry Performance Singapore (Rips) echoes the need for the introduction of public performance and full broadcast rights for sound recordings.

This will bring Singapore in line with long-established international norms, as well as allow for record companies to invest in local talent development and incentivise the establishment of a vibrant local platform for artists to flourish.

With the pervasiveness of high-speed Internet connectivity, rights owners are fighting a losing battle against rampant piracy.

In response to these challenges, various countries have already enacted laws to allow for more effective measures to be taken against online infringement, and Singapore should likewise also amend its Copyright Act.

At the same time, Rips remains committed to public education and engagement on copyright licensing.

In this regard, we note that Dr Lam mentioned in his letter that "when a commercial shop plays a CD for background music... these outlets do not need a licence" from Rips.

Copyright licences may, in fact, be required from Rips, depending on how the sound recordings are played and the methods used for packaging and delivering sound recording content. For example, if computerised music servers or other online delivery methods are used to deliver content from our repertoire, licences will typically be required from us.

Business owners should check if their suppliers of such computerised or online systems are so licensed.

Apart from reproduction licences for sound recordings, Rips also administers licences for public performance of music videos and karaoke videos.

Members of the public are welcome to inquire with us if they have any questions relating to the use of sound recordings.

Barbara Wong (Ms)
General Manager
Recording Industry Performance Singapore

This article was published on April 5 in The Straits Times.

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