Letter to The Straits Times expressing Displeasure at the Infringement of Copyrights


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mattlock

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Feb 28, 2004
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We are sending a letter in to The Straits Times which has been crafted in part by a lawyer., expressing our displeasure at the infringement of the Copyright Act
We would like to request the signing of this letter if you feel that this infringement of the Copyright Act reflects poorly on The Straits Times, the leading newspaper in Singapore.

Here is the link to the petition below

http://www.petitiononline.com/STCopyr/petition.html

The offending image can be found at

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/7156/clipboard01hf9.jpg

We would like to request that you spread this link around for people to read and sign, and hopefully we can made our voices heard to The Straits Times as a group of people.

We would appreciate it if you give as much information about yourself so as to verify each signature on the letter.

Ultimately, our intention is not to gain any financial benefits from this letter. The response (or even the lack of response) we obtain from The Straits Times in relation to this letter will give us insight into their attitude towards their standards of journalism and ethics.

As a symbolic gesture, each signature on this letter will add more strength to it.
 

mattlock

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Feb 28, 2004
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#2
To: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED
News Centre, 1000 Toa Payoh North
Singapore 318994

Attn: The Straits Times Editor, Deputy Editor, Life! Editor, and Forum Editor

Dear Sirs/Madams


UNAUTHORISED REPRODUCTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS

1. We, the undersigned, refer to the article published by The Straits Times on 30th July 2006, under the Lifestyle section on page L1, in which twenty-four (24) photographs (hereafter collectively referred to as �the Photographs�) were reproduced in the form of a montage as the cover for the article titled �iwant2befamous.com� (�the Article�).


INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

2. It has come to our attention that at least one, if not all of the Photographs, had been obtained from blogs and Friendster.com without the consent of the copyright owners.

3. Section 31 of the Copyright Act (Cap 63), states that:-

�copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is infringed by a person who, not being the owner of the copyright, and without the licence of the owner of the copyright, does in Singapore, or authorises the doing in Singapore of, any act comprised in the copyright.�

4. Copyright ownership of each Photograph vests in the photographer. The Straits Times has infringed the photographers� copyright, by the publication of the Article.

5. As the leading newspaper in Singapore, The Straits Times sets an example for other publications in Singapore to follow. It has a social responsibility to uphold high journalism standards of ethics that go beyond the legal framework.

6. In view of [point 5.], sufficient effort should be made in obtaining consent for usage of the Photographs when the copyright owners were easily contactable through their blogs and Friendster profiles, and sufficient acknowledgement should be given to the copyright owners.

7. Even if the defence of fair dealing is raised, pursuant to section.36 and section 37 of the Copyright Act, a requirement for the defence of fair dealing to operate is that of sufficient acknowledgement.

8. Acknowledging �Singapore blogs� and �Friendster� is insufficient as the copyright of each Photograph vests with the respective photographer.


PRIVACY

9. The use of twenty-four (24) Photographs for a montage is clearly an aesthetic decision, as opposed to adding any real weight or argument to the Article. Thus we feel that this is unnecessary and excessive
The fact that no attempt was made to inform the bloggers and Friendster users of the reproduction of the Photographs, in view of [point 6.], make those who were responsible for the montage or authorised the montage truly morally culpable.

10. The lack of privacy laws in Singapore gives the bloggers and Friendster users no comfort, as their Photographs were splashed across the front page of Sunday�s paper without their consent.

11. Notwithstanding the lack of privacy laws, as the leading newspaper in Singapore, the Straits Times ought to set a laudable standard for other publications in Singapore to follow.
Ethically, the issue of privacy of the individuals featured on the cover page must be considered in view of [point 9.].


DEFAMATION

12. The Photographs may be harmless snapshots when viewed individually. However, when juxtaposed with the title �iwant2bfamous.com", the Photographs immediately take on an unfavourable undertone.

13. Additionally, the Article goes on to insinuate and allude to negative and unhealthy characteristics, such as-"Read me. I want to be famous�, �narcissistic", "me-me-me","Isn't there something unhealthy about how people are so eager to share with the world every wart in their lives?" amongst other patronising and damaging phrases.
The words are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning in their natural and ordinary meaning.

14. When viewed in the context of the Article, the Photographs potentially reflect on the Subjects� reputation therein, so as to lower the Subjects in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.


OBJECTIVITY AND CREDIBILITY

15. The Straits Times has consistently cast blogs in a negative light, and has made various thinly veiled attacks on blogs over the past year. This does not reflect well on the objectivity and credibility demanded from a well-respected newspaper. We would like to suggest that The Straits Times be more objective in its approach towards the topic of blogs and bloggers in the future.


WHAT IS DESIRED

16. In light of the foregoing, we would like to request that the Straits Times:-

16.1. issue an apology in the Forum section any day before 19th August 2006 in a column of 9cm x 15cm minimum;

and

16.2. issue an apology on 12th August 2006, on Page L2 of Sunday's Lifestyle section in a column of 12cm x 18cm minimum; or
16.3. issue an apology on 12th August 2006, on the Back Page of Sunday's Lifestyle section in a column of 12cm x 18cm minimum;

17. We hope that the Straits Times will maintain high standards of journalism and that this sort of lapse is not repeated in the future.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned
 

Terence

Senior Member
Nov 16, 2003
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I'm a Llama!
#4
Hope none of my images were part of the montage. Link is still broken, cannot view image.
 

mattlock

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2004
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#8
If you are signing it, please feel free to add your comments and as much background information on yourself as possible so that the Straits Times gets a more in-depth feel each person's opinion towards this matter, thanks!
 

reachme2003

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2003
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#9
i am not on top of this issue, i declare. however, at first reading, i perceive that the content of this intended letter seems like a lesson on our copyright and (privacy) laws. not sure if that is the intent.
 

fotoudavid

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2005
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#12
i wanna sign for u, but where to sign?
 

fotoudavid

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2005
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#13
sign liao. up for matt:thumbsup:
 

zoossh

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2005
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Singapore
#16
mattlock said:
If you are signing it, please feel free to add your comments and as much background information on yourself as possible so that the Straits Times gets a more in-depth feel each person's opinion towards this matter, thanks!
opps. i signed but i didn't write my background on the comments column. does it matter now?
 

_espn_

Deregistered
Jul 5, 2006
3,539
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Planet Nikon
#20
One of the images is a picture of a female CSer cannot remember the handle though.
 

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