What if someone uses a picture or text from my blog, without permission?

Singapore’s laws on copyright are governed by the Copyright Act and enforced vicariously by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. Intellectual property can be categorised into patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs.

If you took a photograph of the Singapore River, or wrote an article commenting on the General Elections, they automatically come under the protection of the Copyright Act, even if you did not include a statement of “reservation of rights” in your log. There is also no need to register any copyright. The moment this work is published on your blog, the creator (you) immediately enjoy copyright protection.  According to IPOS, a piece of work is protected by copyright as long as it was created independently by you, and expressed tangibly. For more information on what is and is not protected by copyright, click here.

According to IPOS, the symbol © is not vital to safeguarding your rights. It is only useful if the infringing party claims that he was not aware of any prevailing copyright law, which may result in the infringer having to pay reduced compensation. Having a © symbol defeats such claims of ignorance and possibilities of reduced compensation.

An example of how to write a reservation of rights would be:

Copyright © 2011 singaporelegaladvice.com. All Rights Reserved

The year refers to the date where the material was first made available. It is followed by the copyright owner. Finally it is rounded off with the extent of reservation of rights. An alternative would be, “For private use only”.