Wednesday, 7 January 2015

If you are a performing artiste, writer or artist, this section may be relevant to you especially if you are embroiled in a civil dispute involving copyright infringement.

What is copyright?

Copyright is the right to deny others to copy your original work for the period of time. In Singapore, this right is granted vis-à-vis the Copyright Act (Cap. 63).

What does the Copyright Act protect?

The Copyright Act protects the way in which ideas, information and principles are expressed. In general, copyright covers literary, drama, musical and artistic works. It could also cover live performances as well.

When does copyright occur?

Copyright occurs immediately upon creation of the work in an expressed form which can be reproduced. In other words, verbal ideas which are unexpressed are not covered under the Copyright Act.

How long does the copyright last?

It varies depending upon the medium or material in which the piece of work is captured upon. The following are some examples:

·         Literary, dramatic or musical works (70 years after the death of the author)

·         Sound recording or film (70 years after the end of the calendar year in which the recording or film was published)

·         Published edition of work (25 years after the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published)

Who owns the copyright?

Generally, the creator of the work owns the copyright. However, another person may be the owner if the copyright was either assigned to him/her or the work was created, in the course of employment, by an employee of a company owned by that person.

Civil disputes involving copyright disputes may be long drawn and complex especially if it involves multiple infringements. It would therefore be advisable to engage a commercial lawyer to assist in resolving such civil disputes.

At GJC Law, our Singapore Commercial & Civil Litigation Lawyers take time to understand your case or situation, with our experience in the field of personal law, we will advice you on best possible course of action for your matter.

At Gloria James-Civetta, all of our lawyers are trained mediators. Contact us on 63370469 or email us @