The members of the International Authors Forum (IAF) – 59 organisations representing nearly 650,000 professional creators worldwide – have written to Government Ministers in Singapore.
They ask them to respect the continued effective and efficient operation of Singapore’s licensing system which has been generally accepted by the educational sector, and avoid making negative changes to the treatment of copyright in this area. The proposals, as we understand them, involves an increase in the amount of use permitted without the need for a licence from 5% to 10% notwithstanding that the current system is one of the least expensive in the world.
The International Authors Forum support a balance between user access and creator reward and we believe the current proposal tips the balance unreasonably and disproportionately in favour of access. Authors want their work (in all formats) to be available as widely as possible. The flexibility of a copyright law that accommodates user needs to access authors’ work and which does not unnecessarily limit that access, is vital. However, as reflected in the international copyright framework embodied in the Berne Convention and other copyright treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) including the TRIPS agreement, the aim of copyright is to do this within a framework which grants rights to authors that give them the opportunity to make a living from those uses, and the necessary protection to choose if and when to make them available for free.