Amendments to the Copyright Act of 1994 will strengthen the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in Thailand and ensure online intermediaries' responsibilities will be appropriately covered, says a panel of experts.
A stall sells pirated DVDs in central Bangkok. Experts predict amendments to the Copyright Act will beef up protection of intellectual property rights. PATIPAT JANTHONG
However, the amendments might place an undue burden on copyright owners to the degree that they would take more time in legal action with cases involving copyright infringement.
After almost a decade of amendments, the National Legislative Assembly passed the Copyright Act on Nov 27, pending royal endorsement. It is expected to take effect next year.
The amendments has two draft bills — one prohibiting video recording in cinemas and the other protecting management of information.
"The amendments are aimed at further protecting IP and curbing copyright infringement online effectively in the digital era," said Asst Prof Pinai Nanakorn of Thammasat University's law faculty said yesterday, who is also a member of the Copyright Act amendment committee.
He said the amendments would help the country to deal with technological developments and the transformation of copyright material into digital format.
The amended Act will also tackle those who provide circumvention tools used to access blocked websites and crack software, Asst Prof Pinai told a seminar yesterday hosted by the Electronic Transactions Development Agency.
Piset Chiyasak, general manager of the Thai Entertainment Content Trade Association, said digital music accounted for 25% of Thailand's music industry, worth 4.2 billion baht last year.
"The industry would grow more quickly than it does now if there were no effects from digital piracy," he said.