In Singapore, criminal offences under copyright law include the following:

  • Manufacture of infringing copies for commerical purposes
  • Sale of infringing copies
  • Possession or importation of infringing copies for commerical purposes
  • Distribution of infringing copies for commerical purposes

In any of the instances above, it must be proved that the infringing party knows or ought reasonably to know that the copies are infringing ones.


Penalties

Criminal liability for wilful infringement Penalties
Manufacture for sale;
  • A fine not exceeding up to a total of $100,000 per charge; and/or
  • $10,000 per infringing copy,
  • imprisonment up to five years
Sale of infringing copies;
Possession or importation of infringing copies for commercial purposes
Distribution of infringing copies for commercial purposes
  • A fine not exceeding $50,000; and/or
  • imprisonment up to three years
Making or in possession of an article specifically designed for making infringing copies (e.g. machinery for manufacturing infringing copies)
  • a fine not exceeding $20,000 per article; and/or
  • imprisonment up to two years.


Criminal liability for wilful infringement

It is also a criminal offence if a person wilfully infringes copyright to obtain a commercial advantage and/or to an extent that is significant.

Commercial advantage means any direct advantage, benefit or financial gain for a business or trade. As to whether the infringement is to an extent that is significant, this is judged based on the volume and value of infringing copies, whether the infringement has a substantial prejudicial impact on the copyright owner and all other relevant matters.

Criminal liability for wilful infringement Penalties
1st offence
  • A fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or
  • imprisonment up to six months
2nd or subsequent offence
  • A fine not exceeding $50,000; and/or
  • imprisonment up to three years