Copyright is a collection of rights automatically granted to someone who creates an original work like a text book, a song, a movie, a game, or an app. The copyright owner is granted exclusive rights to reproduce, publish, perform, communicate, and adapt their work.
These rights are granted even if the copyright symbol © does not appear on the work.
Copyright protects the expression of ideas in tangible form. In Singapore, an author automatically enjoys copyright protection as soon as they create and express their work in a tangible form. No registration is required to get copyright protection.
The following are protected by copyright law:
The original author/creator of a work will own the copyright. However, the copyright holder can sign an agreement giving another party the copyright.
For instance, the author may transfer their rights to a publisher as a condition of publication - in which case the publisher owns the copyright of that work. For example, many journal publishers hold the copyright to the articles they publish.
Another example common in Singapore is where an employer will usually hold the copyright to an employee's work, unless otherwise agreed.
The copyright protection periods in Singapore:
Note: Changes are expected in 2021 to the duration of copyright protection in the Singapore Copyright Act.
Works in the public domain can be freely used, adapted, and built on by everyone without obtaining permission. The following are a few types of work in the public domain:
Please note that the issue of public domain is not always clear-cut. For example, George Romero's cult film classic, The Night of the Living Dead, is in the public domain but the music from the film is not.
Moral rights are a set of non-transferrable rights that are normally included within the bundle of rights under copyright. These rights exist to protect the creator for ethical reasons. There are three types of moral rights:
There is no protection for moral rights under the existing Singapore Copyright Act - the proposed amendments to this act are seeking to address this issue.
Performers and authors of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works have the right to be identified whenever their work or performance is used. This is known as the Right of Attribution and it lasts for the duration of the copyright protection period.
The moral right of attribution requires, at the very least, that the author be named.
Intellectual Property (IP) is made up of Copyright and Industrial Property.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP)
- the legal rights given to a person over their creations, and divided into 2 main areas:
Royalty Free is not the same as Copyright Free.