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Copyright Law and Protection of Copyrighted Work Created or Displayed on Digital Media

Today creative work, the product of its creator’s perseverance which is protected by the copyright law, is created or displayed not only on tangible media like paper, fabric or ceramic but also on intangible media, widely known as digital media, like CD, DVD or the Internet. As Thailand’s current copyright law, which provides protection for the copyright owner’s rights as well as imposes penalty for infringement, is not sufficient to protect those creative work on digital media, infringements on copyrighted work have skyrocketed.

In view of the foregoing, the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce, has drafted an amendment to Copyright Act B.E. 2537 (1994) (the Draft Amendment) so that the Act protects the rights of the copyright owner as well as the creative work created or displayed on digital media and imposes penalty for infringement on such creative work. The Draft Amendment has been considered and approved by the Cabinet pending the Parliament’s consideration and the publication in the Government Gazette.

The material provisions of the Draft Amendment can be summarised as follows:

  1. Right Management Information and Technology Protection Measure

    The purpose is to protect the right management information and to set out the technology protection measure.
    • According to the Draft Amendment, the right management information is the information which identifies the creator of creative work or the copyright owner and specifies the duration and conditions for use of such copyrighted work as well as the number or code associated with such copyrighted work (e.g., name of the creator or the copyright owner, the bar code of the copyrighted work). Such information must be affixed or appearing on the copyrighted work, one way or another.
    • Technology protection measure is the technology developed to prevent unauthorised reproduction of or to control access to the copyrighted work, e.g., the technology that prevents unauthorised reproduction of a film or a song stored on a CD or DVD.
  2. Infringement of Right Management Information and Technology Protection Measure

    The purpose is to determine the acts which might be construed as an infringement of copyright.
    • According to the Draft Amendment, whoever deletes or alters the right management information, knowing full well that such act might induce, cause, facilitate or conceal an infringement of copyright, or whoever knowingly imports or orders into the Kingdom for sale or dissemination to the public any copyrighted work or a copy thereof whose right management information has been deleted shall be deemed to have infringed the right management information.

By Rawat Chomsri (Partner) and Panisa Suwanmatajarn (Associate) © December 2012
Khun Rawat can be reached at Rawat@siampremier.com
Khun Panisa can be reached at Panisa@siampremier.com