Thailand Copyright Act is a law that exists to protect and grant exclusive rights to the author or owner of creative works such as literary works, computer programs, dramatic works, and artistic works. The exclusive rights exist at the time the work is created and are protected under the Copyright Act for the author’s lifetime and for 50 years after the death of the author. Excluding the copyright owner, no one can reproduce, adapt, or communicate creative works to the public under the protection of the Copyright Act.

Last 25th of February 2022, Jurin Laksanawisit, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Commence, approved a new amendment to the Copyright Act B.E. 2565 aimed at preventing instant copyright infringement on the internet and supporting the government’s new Soft Power Policy, as well as expanding Thailand’s digital industry to an international level. The law firm in Thailand H&P has prepared our legal comments on the amendments of this regulation:

New amendment on Copyright Act B.E. 2565

The Copyright Act B.E. 2565 was published in the Royal Gazette and will take effect on August 23, 2022. Several provisions have been implemented, and new provisions have been added to the Act.

Firstly, The Copyright Act B.E. 2565 extend the duration for protection for photographic works. In the Copyright Act B.E. 2561, the photographic works are protected under section 21 of Copyright Act. Photographic works are protected for 50 years from the date of creation or first publication.

The new amendment, the Copyright Act B.E. 2565, extends the duration of protection for photographic works from 50 years during the author’s life to 50 years after the author’s death.

Secondly, the new amendment also included the new definition. The Copyright Act of B.E. 2565 defined the terms “Service User” and “Service Provider”.

The Service User is a person who uses the Service Provider’s service whether or not they were charged for it. The definitions of Service Providers vary because they are divided into four groups.

-The Service Provider who acts as an intermediary

-The Service Provider who acts as a temporary information storage

-The Service Provider who acts as a host of information

-The Service provider who acts as search engines

To put it in simple terms, the Service Provider is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet such as Facebook, YouTube, or Google.

Furthermore, the amendment added a seventh chapter concerned with the exception to the Service Provider’s liability. A Service Provider will not be held liable for any copyright infringement if the Service Provider has explicitly announced the termination of services to the person who has repeatedly committed Copyright infringement and has fully complied with the requirements of the Copyright Act B.E.2565.

Another aspect of the Copyright Act Amendment B.E. 2565 is that the Copyright owner can take action against the person who infringed their rights by submitting an online application form reporting the infringement to the Service Provider. In other words, the Copyright owner can take action against the infringer without proceeding through the court system. Upon receipt of the infringement report, the Service Provider must promptly comply with the Copyright’s owner’s request and notify the accused of the infringed action.

H&P Thai Lawyers opinion on the impact of Copyright Act B.E. 2565

The new amendment was introduced to comply with the WCT (World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty) and to update some outdated provisions since its last amendment in 1994. The Copyright Act of B.E. 2565 has both benefits and limitations.

One of the advantages is that it extends the length of protection and reduces the necessity to go through the court process in cases of copyright infringement. Furthermore, the implemented provisions improve the enforceability of the infringement and facilitate for Service Users to report wrongful acts. Nevertheless, the enforcement process can be complicated for citizens to determine on their own. Since, before reporting an infringement, copyright owners must consider whether the alleged infringement actually occurred and led to a significant loss in the copyright owner’s normal exploitation or not. Furthermore, there is no specific term for how the copyright owner can fulfill all of the conditions to prove infringement of his/her works. Therefore, it is essential for copyright owners as well as fellow citizens to comprehend and stay informed on the new amendment and how it will impact our daily lives.

The effective date

The Copyright Act B.E. 2565 will go into effect on August 26, 2022. Copyright works published between today and August 25, 2022 are governed by the Copyright Act B.E. 2561. But since the law does not apply retroactively, works published on August 26, 2022, and so on will be governed by the Copyright Act B.E. 2565.

If you need legal advice in Thailand on Copyright and IP rights protection, please contact our Bangkok lawyers at [email protected]

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