The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) today launched a public consultation that will run for four (4 weeks), ending on 30 June 2020, to seek feedback on a proposed licensing scheme for Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in Singapore.

The public consultation is part of the overall review of Singapore’s copyright regime and aims to develop a regulatory framework that is practical, reflects the interests of stakeholders and ensures the efficient transaction of rights in the copyright marketplace.

Collective Management Organisations

CMOs manage licensing administration and royalty collection of copyright works for creators, while providing users with cost-effective access to the works. The effective management and access are crucial to the success of any copyright regime. Thus, it is imperative that CMOs operate with high standards of transparency, governance, accountability and efficiency.

CMOs are currently unregulated in Singapore and this public consultation is in response to feedback to address deficiencies that persist in the current CMO ecosystem.

Proposed Licensing Scheme

The proposed licensing scheme addresses a range of issues raised in the Copyright Review Report in 2019 and Copyright Collective Rights Management Ecosystem Public Consultation 2017 by way of a “light-touch” regulatory approach focusing on minimum standards and keeping compliance efforts and costs low.

Some key areas raised include:

i) Members’ rights: Setting minimum standards CMOs must provide to members including freedom to determine the rights to grant to CMOs, and the opportunity to participate in the key decision-making processes of the CMO.

ii) Distribution of licence fees: Requiring CMOs to set out their distribution policy clearly and provide sufficient information on the source of revenue and calculations done to arrive at the distribution amount to members.

iii) Information transparency: Greater transparency and publication of information such as the portfolio of copyrighted materials managed and administered by a CMO.

iv) Dispute resolution: Requiring CMOs to provide an effective and cost-efficient dispute resolution mechanism, including recourse to mediation.

v) Code of Conduct: There will be a mandatory Code of Conduct which CMOs will have to comply with.

The full public consultation paper may be viewed online at https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/news/public-consultation-on-proposed-licence-conditions-and-code-of-conduct-for-collective-management-organisations

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