Jurisdiction - Singapore
News
Singapore – Government To Consult On Role Of Website Blocking In Fighting Online Copyright Infringement.

5 November, 2013

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Intellectual Property

 

In a statement before Singapore’s Parliament, Senior Minister of State for Law, Indranee Rajah, said that the Government was planning to consult with industry stakeholders on how website blocking could work in practice.


“The Ministry of Law and other agencies are currently deliberating the role of site blocking as a measure to help counter the ease of accessing copyright infringing material online,” Rajah said. “How we do this will need to be carefully considered. We are finalising our review and will be consulting the industry and public on the appropriate approach to site blocking in the coming months.”


Rajah said that the development of “appropriate regulatory measures” should form part of a “multi-pronged approach” to tackle online copyright infringement. Initiatives to better educate the public about copyright and its importance, as well as the promotion of “legitimate digital content services” are also needed to address the problem, she said.


“A sound and pro-business copyright framework requires the protection of the rights of rights owners as well as the legitimate market access by consumers,” the Minister said. “Both objectives are crucial to a vibrant creative industry. We are reviewing our Copyright Act to ensure that our laws keep up with emerging technologies and social norms.”


Technology law expert Rosemary Lee of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: “Despite having robust intellectual property laws, Singapore has high incidences of online piracy, not least due to the tech-savvyness of the populace and an extremely high residential internet penetration rate. This development signals a move towards tougher enforcement of IP laws and ties in with Singapore’s IP Hub Masterplan to become a global IP hub.”


New website blocking regulations were anticipated in the UK, under the Digital Economy Act, although the sections of the Act that permitted the new rules to be drawn up have subsequently been repealed. A process was envisaged under the Act which could have seen courts issue injunctions against internet service providers (ISPs) ordering them to block their customers’ access to copyright infringing websites.


The Government dropped plans to draft new regulations after a high-profile High Court case involving BT and six major film studios proved that existing UK copyright laws provided for the same kind of injunctions to be issued. 

 

Pinsent Masons

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Catrin Turner, Partner, Pinsent Masons
catrin.turner@pinsentmasons.com


Cerys Wyn Davies, Partner, Pinsent Masons
cerys.wyn-davies@pinsentmasons.com

 
Homegrown Intellectual Property Law Firms in Singapore 

 
 

Comments are closed.