Lax enforcement of music copyright laws

Lax enforcement of music copyright laws

I HAVE read reports and heard people talk about illegal music downloads ("1 in 2 S'poreans downloads illegal music, videos: Poll"; Wednesday).

Musicians put in much time and effort to create works from scratch, especially independent music creators who spend money on recording studios and other equipment just to produce a single track.

Too many people take them for granted and do not understand their pain. To them, music is free and it is easy to compose a song.

As a music director, I know how easy it is to find out if people are downloading music illegally and if commercial organisations are paying their music copyright dues.

But no government body is tackling this problem despite Singapore being a "top intellectual property hub" in the region.

In Malaysia, music copyright organisations do thorough checks on commercial retailers and eateries.

Another article ("Music royalties - 7 in 10 shops not paying up: Study"; June 8, 2013) said seven out of 10 commercial entities infringe the Copyright Act by playing background music without paying for the appropriate licence.

It is not just the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore licensing fee that they need to pay; most also need to pay a fee to the Recording Industry Performance Singapore.

But nothing much is being done. I wonder what type of mindset we are cultivating with respect to copyrights.

Chen Yongjie

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