The Thailand Amended Copyright Act 2022

A positive step forward in IP Law in Thailand and a new hope for Copyrighted Ownership Protection by updating legal issues of Copyright Infringement on Online Platforms:

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Each year, the exponential growth of social media along with easily accessible E-Commerce platforms, the IP landscape regarding copyright infringement has changed dramatically. For example, the copyright issues that were always on the tip of the tongue for years regarding such things as bootleg movies and DVD sales has practically vanished. Even before the Covid-19 Situation, the trends of new technology such as Streaming Services and Smart TV had begun to change the focus of demand in hard copies.

With our culture so dependent upon technology and the rapid innovation in all industries dependent upon that for financial success that goes with it, these ongoing transformations in our society has made it practically impossible for the laws in place to protect Copyright Owners in most countries are unable to keep pace and provide a proper counteraction to these enforcement issues.

In most areas, the law needs to constantly evolve to match the changing times in our society. Due to either the vague language or inability to enforce previous archaic laws, Governments around the world and especially in the Kingdom of Thailand have continued to attempt and rectify this situation.

The major force of societal change in the buying and selling of goods came with the COVID-19 pandemic. This seismic shift became the main factor as people were no longer able to travel, shop, or even socialize which left millions of people locked away in their homes for months at a time.

Due to the restrictions placed both in the Kingdom of Thailand and around the world, most if not all onsite activities involving copyright infringement had to be moved online which has since caused an explosion in the criminally copyrighted marketplace.  In this area, the service provider is the main focus due to the fact that when any such infringement happens on an online platform, the responsible party for that platform may have to take liability for such actions taking place on that site. In order to provide proof that the service provider is not a supporter of the infringing activities that have taken place, the law also provides an opening for the service provider to release themselves from such liability.

In the previous Copyright Act, if the infringement occurs on any of the various platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and others then the copyright owner was then able to remove the copyright infringement from the online platform ONLY by submitting the motion to the court to suspend the ability to gain access as well as to remove that copyright infringement from the system.

In this system, such actions by infringers and subsequent restrictions in the law to commence enforceable action causes the copyright owner to bear excessive responsibility by having to defend what is proprietorially theirs to begin with.

This process was deemed ineffective as it required too much time involved as well as the continued cost both in legal fees and lost sales revenue while the infringed goods are still Unauthorized Sales continuing to the public. Therefore, on the 23rd of February 2022, the legislature passed the Amended Copyright Act of 2022 in which will finally take effect in six months along with a handful of other legislative issues involving IP matters.

This amended act is clear in the intention that it stipulates that if the infringement occurs on an online platform, the copyright owner is entitled by the law to submit the take-down notice to the service provider directly.

The take-down notice as the anti-copyright infringement measurement will only be related between the copyright owner and service provider without any court involvement. In essence, the court will only associate with any aforementioned copyright issue when there is a dispute of that specific infringement.

As stated in the Amended Copyright Act 2022.Section 43/4 The service provider will be excluded from the liability if it is proven that they act in accordance with all following conditions.

(1) They Provide the data storage service according to the orders of the user and the service provider does not know that there is a copyright infringement in their computer system or there is no probable cause of such acknowledgement. Also, the service provider has removed or suspended such allegedly copyright-infringing work immediately after being notified and informed.

(2) No financial benefits directly obtained from copyright infringement.

(3) The service provider has already taken the channel to notify of any copyright infringement issues in place.

With these new forthcoming measures in place, the burden that was previously put upon the Copyright Owner as well as the time constraints involved expediting the matter with an overstrained Judicial system, the copyright owner will now have a much clearer path to protect the Copyrighted Entities efficiently and effectively as well as putting an immediate end to the illegal profiting by the infringer.

Author(s)

Supapath Srikamol

Kevin Harrington