Amended Copyright Act to go before parliament

Amended Copyright Act to go before parliament

A new draft of the Copyright Act that covers makers and distributors of devices used for hacking and enlarges protection for photographs is scheduled to go before parliament on Wednesday.

According to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, parliament is set to kick off its first reading of the new draft of the Copyright Act proposed by the ministry today, a move that will make Thailand align with the Copyright Treaty of the World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo).

Mr Jurin said the draft amendments aim to boost efficiency in suppressing intellectual property violations on the internet and build up the confidence of copyright creators.

The main thrust of the bill is copyright owners can send a request to internet service providers (ISPs) to remove copyright-infringing material from websites immediately without having to go through time-consuming court proceedings, he said.

It also extends the penalty to cover manufacturers and distributors of devices used in hacking.

Under the current Copyright Act, copyright holders must petition a court to order ISPs to take down pirated content -- a time-consuming process that may deal a damaging blow to a copyright owner's business.

The existing laws mean it takes a long time to get content removed from the internet.

The bill will allow copyright owners to send takedown notices to ISPs. After the notices are verified, ISPs must remove pirated content immediately and inform those who posted the infringing content of the removal.

In cases where the pirated content is hosted in another country, the copyright holder must petition courts to order the website blocked. If a dispute arises over who the actual rights holder is, the case will be taken to court.

The amended bill also ramps up measures against cybercrimes, such as hacking. The current law does not cover manufacturers and vendors of devices used for hacking.

In addition, the draft amendments will extend the protection on photographs to 50 years after the death of the creator of the photograph.

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