Thailand’s Copyright Demonstration B.E. 2537 (1994): Amendments and Impact
Thailand’s Copyright Demonstration B.E. 2537 (1994) underwent its first significant reevaluation in 2015, two decades after its enactment in March 1995. The amendment primarily aimed to accommodate advancements in the digital era, where technological progress posed a substantial risk of escalating copyright infringement.
Addressing the Digital Challenge
In today’s age of widespread social media platforms, copyright infringement has become increasingly prevalent. The ease of copying copyrighted materials with a mere “click” necessitates swift and effective legal provisions to combat this issue.
Amendments and Exclusions
While the revised law does offer provisions to combat infringement arising from technological developments, it explicitly excludes certain activities from constituting copyright infringement.
Impact of Marrakesh Treaty
Thailand’s involvement in the Marrakesh Treaty in January 2019 significantly influenced its copyright laws. This treaty, active in Thailand from April 2019, aims to enhance access to published works for visually impaired individuals.
Key Amendments in the Copyright Act
The amendments to the Copyright Act encompass various aspects:
- Reproduction of Copyrighted Material: Specifically addresses reproduction of copyrighted movie materials shown in a film, excluding personal use fair dealing (Section 28/1).
- First Sale Doctrine Exception: Exempts the sale of legally acquired original or copied copyrighted work from infringement (Section 32/1).
- Temporary Computer System Reproduction: Excludes temporary reproduction in a computer system primarily for system use or transfer of copyrighted work (Section 32/2).
- Streamlining Online Copyright Infringement Notices: Provides a simplified notice process for online copyright infringement (Section 32/3).
Safeguarding Copyright Holders
The amended Act also introduces provisions for:
- Reproduction for the Benefit of Disabled Individuals: Allows reproduction or adaptation of copyrighted work for non-profit purposes, benefiting disabled individuals (Section 32/4).
- Prohibition of Technological Protection Measures Circumvention: Restricts technology used to prevent reproduction or access to copyrighted work (Section 53/4).
- Increased Civil Remedies: Grants courts the authority to double damages for clear evidence of intentional copyright infringement (Section 64).
Takedown Notices: A Vital Measure
The introduction of takedown notices serves as a crucial step for copyright holders to combat online infringement. This provision allows copyright owners to petition the court to order internet service providers to remove infringing content.
Protecting Internet Service Providers
Notably, the Act exempts internet service providers from liability if they comply with court orders to remove infringing content, provided they are not directly involved in the infringement.
Challenges and Responsibilities
The burden of providing necessary information to the courts falls on the copyright holder. Failure to furnish required information under Section 32/3 para 3 could result in the continued appearance of infringing materials online.
Strengthening IP Protection in Thailand
Recent years have witnessed effective improvements in Thailand’s Intellectual Property protection system. Collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies, under the guidance of the National Committee on Intellectual Property Policies, have significantly enhanced infringement prevention and suppression.
Measures Against Infringement
Copyright owners now have multiple avenues to combat infringement, including takedown notices, police actions, border measures, and settlement procedures. These measures aim to curb counterfeit goods and protect copyright across Thai borders.
Thailand’s government initiatives in bolstering Copyright Law intellectual property rights have shown considerable success in combating counterfeit products. The revisions to the Copyright Demonstration present promising measures in curbing copyright infringement, particularly online. However, their effectiveness in elevating Thailand’s intellectual protection into the “Thailand 4.0” era remains to be seen.