Copyright law tackles social media

Copyright law tackles social media

Copying digital material, especially in social media, without giving proper credit to the copyright holder will be a violation under the new copyright law, which comes into effect on Aug 4.

The penalties for violating the law will be a fine of up to 400,000 baht or two years in prison, said Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, an internet legal expert and founder of the law firm P&P Co.

"General internet users and media face a high risk of infringement according to the new copyright law," he said.

For instance, a Twitter user who retweets a message or material and does not give credit to the original source is violating the law.

The new copyright law is intended to protect copyright owners, said Mr Paiboon. But he is concerned that general internet users are still largely unaware of such legal matters and lack an understanding of the law.

Those who work in the media also need to give proper credit to copyright owners when they use videos from YouTube as part of their work.

Poramate Minsiri, the founder of Kapook.com, a popular web portal, expressed concern that the new copyright law might cause trouble among young internet users as they lack knowledge of the law.

The law also allows copyright owners to ask courts to mandate internet service providers to take down or remove content that allegedly infringes the law, which could lead to many websites being blocked.

In practice, the courts do not have sufficient time and personnel to deal with online copyright violations, Mr Paiboon said.

Burin Kledmanee, chief operating officer of ReadyPlanet, a Bangkok-based digital marketing agency and Thailand's first authorised reseller on Facebook, said the new law should not cause panic among social media users as they usually shared the original source of the content.

He said the copyright law could protect brand owners and businesses with copyrighted content. It would also create a new job, social media content editor, to optimise content for the social media and provide knowledge on how to use social channels more efficiently, said Mr Burin.

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