The Singapore Government plans to revise the Copyright Law and has proposed wide ranging changes that would impact negatively on literary work creators such as publishers, authors and designers. The Singapore RRO, CLASS, is challenging it, especially on the proposals to enhance the exception for educational instruction, and alignment of copying limits from the present 5% to an unprecedented 10% of unremunerated copying.
As a non-profit and responsible RRO/CMO, CLASS aims to ensure that its copyright licensing scheme is never exploitative but is just a means for seeking “just recompense” as provided for by law. IFRRO has strongly opposed the proposed broadening of the exception in the Singapore copyright legislation and asks in its submission to the Singapore government that the proposed changes to the statutory licensing regime be withdrawn. As appropriate legal usages are already enabled through the current regime, it is difficult to see that there is anything that can justify those changes.
The creative industries and the copyright-based sectors are fundamental to the digital economy as well as pivotal in sustaining national culture and cultural identity. Cultural and scientific materials produced locally are essential for a nation’s ability to maintain sustainable cultural independency. Authors and publishers, assisted by RROs, such as CLASS in Singapore, are crucial to helping develop a market for copyright works in developing economies by the protection of and facilitation of access to works of local creators. There is no need to broaden the unremunerated exception in the Singapore copyright legislation to allow more ‘free use’, without remuneration to authors and publishers. Legitimate user access is already provided, also through the local RRO, CLASS.
So far, IFRRO, the IAF/ALCS, UK’s CLA, Australia’s CA, New Zealand’s CLNZ, Canada’s Access Copyright, and ICLA have issued or plan to issue statements in support of CLASS to challenge the proposed changes.