IPOS, Ministry of Law publish Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2023
08 November 2023
Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) published the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2023 (Regulations) in the Gazette.
The regulations is a subsidiary legislation for a new collective management organization (CMO) class licensing scheme, in line with Copyright Act 2021. The regulations incorporate feedback received by MinLaw and IPOS during the public consultation exercise from November 7, 2022, to January 4, 2023.
The IPOS website describes a CMO as “appointed by rights owners to manage the rights in their copyright works or protected performances. A CMO administers the licensing of rights, collection of royalties and enforcement of rights on behalf of these rights owners. A CMO will then monitor the use of the works and performances and collect licence fees on behalf of the rights owners.”
The class licensing scheme seeks to achieve a well-functioning collective management ecosystem by raising standards of transparency, accountability, efficiency and good governance among CMOs. The scheme applies a light-touch model of regulation targeted at critical areas only, while leaving CMOs the flexibility to operate within those boundaries. The scheme does not interfere in the fees that CMOs charge for using the material they manage; CMOs remain free to determine such fees.
Under this scheme, every CMO automatically falls under a mandatory class licence and must comply with all applicable licence conditions. Since the scheme operates automatically, there is no need to register or pay any fee to be a CMO.
IPOS, as the regulator of the scheme, holds the authority to take regulatory actions against CMOs and their officers for breach of licence conditions. This includes issuing regulatory directions, imposing financial penalties or ordering CMOs to cease their collective management business. CMOs and their officers have the right to be heard at every stage of the regulatory action process, including a final appeal to the MinLaw.
The regulations outline the licence conditions that CMOs must comply with, along with procedural matters relating to the regulation of CMOs.
To ensure smooth transaction, CMOs are given a six-month notice period from October 31, 2023, to adjust their operations so that they will be in compliance with the class licensing scheme when it takes effect on May 1, 2024.
Upon its enforcement, the scheme is expected to strengthen Singapore’s copyright regime and benefit all key stakeholders in our collective management ecosystem:
- For the CMO’s members, which include individual creators, the scheme will empower members with a set of rights, including a right to vary or terminate their mandates to their CMOs and a right to participate in the operations of their CMOs. It will also ensure that members receive regular income distributions from their CMOs, with these distributions properly accounted for.
- For the CMO’s users, which include individual consumers, businesses and institutions, the scheme will allow them to make informed decisions and give them greater certainty and efficiency when licensing from CMOs. Should disputes arise, the scheme will require CMOs to act in good faith and reasonably when dealing with the disputes.
- For CMOs, the scheme provides a clear set of rules without unnecessarily increasing compliance efforts and costs. In the future, IPOS will also develop, in collaboration with the industry, best practice notes such as recommendations, illustrations, and templates, which will further encourage and help CMOs to meet industry and international standards.
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- Asia IP