S'pore to ban sale of set-top boxes with pirated streamed content as early as Nov. 2021

This is one of the key proposed changes to Singapore's Copyright Act.

Syahindah Ishak | July 07, 2021, 02:01 PM

The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) proposed some changes to Singapore's Copyright Act, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (July 6).

Banning the sale of set-up boxes

Among the changes include prohibiting the sale of set-up boxes that offers pirated streamed movies and television shows.

If the Bill is passed in Parliament, MinLaw said it expects to operate most of the provisions in November 2021.

Besides set-top boxes, the suggested changes also apply to any commercial dealings — such as the offer for sale, sale, or distribution for trade — of copyright-infringing works through devices or services.

This means that owners who have rights to the content can sue the retailers who offer pirated content through set-top boxes, as well as other devices such as software applications.

MinLaw stated that the suggested changes to the Bill are made to encourage consumption of copyright works in Singapore from legitimate sources.

Criminal penalties

Under the suggested changes, anyone who is found guilty can be jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$100,000, or both, according to The Straits Times.

Entities such as companies can be fined up to S$200,000.

In addition, the offender could be ordered to stop sales or compensate the rights owners for any losses.

Other suggested changes to the Bill

Other key proposed changes in the Copyright Bill include:

  • granting creators and performers the right to be identified
  • granting creators default ownership of certain commissioned works
  • new equitable remuneration rights when sound recordings are broadcasted or publicly performed
  • new permitted use of works for computational data analysis
  • new permitted use of online materials for educational purposes by nonprofit schools
  • setting an expiry date for protection of unpublished works

More information on the proposed changes can be found here.

Top image via Unsplash.