History and Purpose

The last few years have seen the phenomenal growth in Singapore and in Asia of writers. Screenwriters, novelists, poets, copywriters, journalists, etc from the region are now producing a great volume of work of ever-increasing standard and quality. There is therefore, now more than ever, a need for writers to take the appropriate steps to protect their rights in their works.

Copyright protection over authors’ works in Singapore arises automatically. Traditionally there is no need for writers to take any further steps to ensure that their completed works are protected under traditional copyright law. Copyrights in Singapore do not need to be registered. However the convenience of a non-registration system often also results in situations where copyright infringements are difficult to prove. These occasions typically arise where it is difficult in any one case to ascertain exactly at which point of time a particular work was completed by an author; and whether another author who claims also to have written the work may have copied the first work.

In response to these problems, the Screenwriters Association (Singapore) (the ‘SAS’), in cooperation with Samuel Seow Law Corporation, established the Asian Script Repository (‘ASR’). The aims of the ASR are

  1. to assist writers in asserting their proprietorship over their works; and
  2. to assist writers in establishing the completion dates of material written for the fields of radio, film, television, video cassettes/discs, and other interactive and non-interactive media.

Registration with the ASR provides a dated record of the writer’s claim to authorship of a particular work and helps to circumvent the problems in proving priority of ownership. Where necessary, Samuel Seow Law Corporation, a law firm, may produce registered material as evidence of the material having been deposited with it as of a certain date by a certain person if legal action is required to be initiated. In this way third party independent evidence exists to help establish a writer’s claim to proprietorship and priority over any piece of work.

However it is important to note that neither SAS nor Samuel Seow Law Corporation will make comparisons of registration deposits, bestow any statutory protection, or render any legal advice whatsoever. Registration with the ASR also does not protect titles of works.

Download your Asian Script Repository form now and protect your creative endeavours

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