MinLaw and IPOS Seek Feedback on Subsidiary Legislation on Regulation of Collective Management Organisations
07 Nov 2022
1 The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) have launched a public consultation today to seek feedback on draft subsidiary legislation on the regulation of collective management organisations (CMOs). This subsidiary legislation, the Copyright (Collective Management Organisations) Regulations, will be made pursuant to the Copyright Act 2021.
2 The public consultation exercise will run for four weeks until 4 December 2022. It is part of an ongoing review of Singapore’s copyright regime and follows earlier consultation efforts on our copyright regime, including a consultation conducted in 2020 on our collective rights management ecosystem.
3 The aims of this public consultation are to seek views on the language of the specific provisions of the draft Regulations as well as the specific additional issues raised in the consultation paper, including whether there is any ambiguity as to the scope of any provision or whether there is any practical or operational difficulty arising from the language. The draft Regulations take into consideration the feedback received from the earlier rounds of public consultations.
4 CMOs administer licences and collect royalties for use of copyright works and performances on behalf of creators, while providing users with efficient access to such content. The effectiveness of our collective rights management is crucial to the success of our copyright regime. Thus, it is imperative that CMOs operate with high standards of transparency, governance, accountability and efficiency, to ensure that they perform their functions effectively.
5 Part 9 of the Copyright Act 2021 (which is not yet in force) establishes a statutory framework for the regulation of CMOs in the form of a mandatory class licensing scheme. Under this scheme, all CMOs will be automatically licensed and must comply with all applicable licence conditions. IPOS will be the regulator of the scheme and will be empowered to take regulatory actions against CMOs and their officers for any breach of licence conditions. Part 9 and the Regulations will come into force at the same time.
6 The class licensing scheme will introduce a light-touch model of regulation, focusing on key areas that will promote greater market efficiency and uphold key principles of transparency, accountability, and good governance without unnecessarily increasing compliance efforts and costs. Under this regulatory framework, a dual set of levers will be established to ensure compliance and shape good behaviour: first, a set of mandatory class licence conditions which CMOs must comply with, and second, non-mandatory notes on best practices which will support the licence conditions by offering recommendations, illustrations, and templates to encourage and assist CMOs to meet industry and international standards.
7 The draft Regulations set out the detailed provisions on the operation of the scheme, specifically:
(i) the licence conditions that CMOs must comply with; and
(ii) the procedures relating to regulatory actions taken by IPOS, including procedures for making representations, applying for reconsideration, and appealing against such regulatory action.
8 We set out below a summary of the main categories of these licence conditions as well as the procedures:
(i) Members’ rights: Requiring CMOs to give members key rights in their membership agreements, as well as to establish and comply with a membership policy that sets out a minimum standard for how CMOs manage their relationship with their members.
(ii) Collection and distribution of royalties: Requiring CMOs to establish and comply with a distribution policy, to ensure that the collection and distribution of such monies are in accordance with minimum standards of transparency and accountability.
(iii) Dispute resolution: Requiring CMOs to establish and comply with a dispute resolution policy in dealing with disputes between the CMO and its users, intending users, or members.
(iv) Good governance: Requiring CMOs to put in place safeguards to ensure they operate in a manner that is transparent and accountable, including safeguards relating to board appointments and removals, and baseline financial record-keeping and reporting obligations.
(v) Provision of information to the public: Requiring CMOs to provide key information relating to their operations and portfolios.
(vi) Representation, reconsideration, and appeal procedures: Setting out
specific procedures for CMOs or officers of CMOs to:
• make representations before IPOS takes any type of regulatory action against them;
• apply for IPOS to reconsider its decision after taking a regulatory action against them; and
• appeal to the Minister against IPOS’s reconsidered decision.
9 There will be a 6-month notice period before the class licensing scheme takes effect. This notice period will give CMOs the opportunity to develop and implement all necessary policies and procedures, and make all necessary changes to their organisational structures and operations to be in full compliance with the scheme by the time it takes effect.
10 The full public consultation paper may be viewed on the Ministry of Law’s website at https://go.gov.sg/cmo-consult2022.
Invitation for feedback
11 Members of the public are invited to submit their views by 4 December 2022. They may submit feedback via email or hard copy to the following:
Ministry of Law
Intellectual Property Policy Division,
Ministry of Law
100 High Street, #08-02, The Treasury
12 To support the administration of the new CMO class licensing scheme, IPOS has established a new Copyright Unit with effect from 1 September 2022. In addition to overseeing the regulation of CMOs, the Unit will manage other copyright-related matters, including developing and reviewing Singapore’s copyright policy and laws, advising the Government on copyright issues, representing Singapore at international and regional fora on copyright matters, and providing administrative support services related to Singapore’s copyright regime.
13 This dedicated Unit will enable IPOS to navigate the challenges and complexities of the copyright landscape more adeptly and better meet the needs of stakeholders from all sectors. In so doing, it will position Singapore to capture growth opportunities presented by copyright in the new digital age.
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