this is in reference to media companies stealing photographs and using them without permission. I gave a feedback to the gov and this is the reply that i got.
Just posting here for everyone to see
Dear Mr Ortega
We refer to your
Thank you for your enquiry on the use of photographs taken from the Internet by the media. We note there is some concern on your part that the media companies are using the law on fair dealing to use photographs taken by others without permission. As IPOS is not in a position to render legal advice, you may wish to consult a legal counsel for more specific advice. I am, however, able to share with you the following general information which I hope will be able to assist you.
General Information on Nature of Copyright
Photographs are artistic works that could be protected under the Copyright Act.
The owner of the copyright in an artistic work is granted specific exclusive rights to do certain acts with that work. This includes:
i. reproducing the work (including in digital forms);
ii. publishing the work, if it is unpublished
iii. communicating the work to the public (including transmission via the internet)
When someone has exercised any of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner to a substantial portion of the copyrighted work without permission, infringement may have occurred.
When a media company downloads and prints an artistic work in a newspaper, they may be reproducing the work. Additionally, they may be considered to have published the work, depending on the nature of the photograph and how it was displayed on the Internet.
If the media company has done this without the permission of the copyright owner of the photograph, they may have infringed on the rights of the owner.
Please note that some websites that help to display and store photographs have terms and conditions. These terms and conditions may require that the copyright owner agree to grant certain permissions to other users before uploading their pictures. Any copyright owner who uses these websites should review the terms and conditions of these websites when considering pursuing actions for potential infringement.
Whenever anyone does something that only the copyright owner has the exclusive rights to do without the consent of the owner, infringement has occurred.
If infringement has occurred, the owner of a copyright may seek civil remedies including:
ii. account for profits,
iii. injunctions to restrain further infringement; and
iv. delivery or destruction of infringing copies.
Whether or not the media has infringed will depend on the facts of the case as well as whether any limitations and exceptions, such as fair dealing, apply.
Fair dealing is part of a balanced system of copyright that takes into account the legitimate expectations of both copyright owners and users. Fair dealing is not automatic – each form of fair dealing has certain requirements before they apply.
The use by media companies of photographs might be considered fair dealing for the purpose of reporting current events. Under section 37 of the Copyright Act, this will not be considered infringing.
When determining if an allegedly infringing act would fall under section 37, the courts may look to whether there is an element of public interest, the purpose of the media company’s use of the photograph, the amount of the photograph taken, and whether the use was reasonably necessary to report current events. Additionally, such use must be accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement.
Alternatively, the media company might claim that its use would be under general fair use, under section 35 of the Copyright Act. Whether such use is fair dealing will be determined by the courts considering all the circumstances. Such circumstances would include:
i. the purpose and character of the dealing, including whether such dealing is of a commercial nature,
ii. the nature of the protected item; and
iii. the effect of the dealing upon the potential market for, or value of, the protected item.
The photographer in question may wish to seek legal counsel to determine whether or not there has been infringement, and if fair dealing applies.
Please note that the above information may not be comprehensive for your purposes and is not intended to be, and cannot substitute for, professional legal advice.
If you need further information, you may wish to attend an IP Consult session, where information on IP issues is shared by IP professionals. At the end of the session, there may be opportunity to ask more specific questions in individual consults with the IP professionals. For more information please refer to our website at http://www.ipos.gov.sg/topNav/news/c...eries+2010.htm.
We hope this has been of use to you. For further information on copyright you may wish to refer to the IPOS website at www.ipos.gov.sg.