Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Ass Tee" Crackdown update

Did some research into the Singapore's Copyright Act. We have a "Fair Dealing" clause that is fairly similar to the US's "Fair Use" Section.

From the Singapore Copyright Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/ (Search under Copyright Act "Fair Dealing")

Fair dealing for purpose of criticism or review
36. A fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or with an adaptation of a literary, dramatic or musical work, shall not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the work if it is for the purpose of criticism or review, whether of that work or of another work, and a sufficient acknowledgment of the work is made.

109. —(1) Subject to this section, a fair dealing with an audio-visual item for any purpose other than a purpose referred to in section 110 or 111 shall not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the item or in any work or other audio-visual item included in the item.
(2) The purposes for which a dealing with an audio-visual item may constitute a fair dealing under subsection (1) shall include research and study.
(3) For the purposes of this Act, the matters to which regard shall be had, in determining whether a dealing with an audio-visual item, being a dealing by way of copying the whole or a part of the audio-visual item, constitutes a fair dealing with the audio-visual item for any purpose other than a purpose referred to in section 110 or 111 shall include —
(a) the purpose and character of the dealing, including whether such dealing is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
(b) the nature of the audio-visual item;
(c) the amount and substantiality of the part copied taken in relation to the whole audio-visual item;
(d) the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the audio-visual item; and
(e) the possibility of obtaining the audio-visual item within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

Fair dealing for purpose of criticism or review
110. A fair dealing with an audio-visual item shall not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the item or in any work or other audio-visual item included in the item if it is for the purpose of criticism or review, whether of the first-mentioned audio-visual item, another audio-visual item or a work, and a sufficient acknowledgment of the first-mentioned audio-visual item is made.

Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news
111. A fair dealing with an audio-visual item shall not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the item or in any work or other audio-visual item included in the item if —
(a) it is for the purpose of, or is associated with, the reporting of news in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical and a sufficient acknowledgment of the first-mentioned audio- visual item is made; or
(b) it is for the purpose of, or is associated with, the reporting of news by means of broadcasting or a cable programme service, by any other means of communication to the public, or in a cinematograph film.

As you see, "fair dealing" only applies mainly to a "literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or with an adaptation of a literary, dramatic or musical work" or "an audio-visual" item. It states nothing specific about a national newspaper's works or articles that are published. Can these works be constituted as "literary" works? If I suppose bloggers are writing a critic or review on Ass Tee's "literary" works, then we're free to quote them as long as we make sufficient acknowledgment. However, if a company's website quotes from Ass Tee, I'd say good luck. Better start working on cleansing your site or feel Ass Tee's Wrath!

Then another question arise. If a Blog is sponsored or money making, would it be considered a commercial site or a private site? And would it be targeted by Ass Tee's team of lawyers? Or as long as it is in a form of a review/critcism, it will be ok?

Then finally, if companies just change their articles to a "review"/"criticism" form that talks about the reviews/articles/writeups about them by Ass Tee, and would this avoid all the trouble and thus be free to quote all they want? A review or criticism piece about reviews/critcism/writeups by others. How messy ....