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Cut and paste a Straits Times article and it could cost you SGD749

Cutting and pasting an article from the online version of The Straits Times into your blog or website is as easy pressing CTRL-C and CTRL-V. A website owner did just that and it might result in him SGD749 poorer.

Temasek Review wrote that Mr Gilbert Goh, the owner operator of, received a lawyer’s letter demanding he pay SGD$535.00 (Incl GST) being licence fees per article per year and $214.00 (Incl GST) being reimbursement to the legal firm in respect of their investigation fee.

I am not surprised by this as the article produced by The Straits Times is a copyright of their publisher, Singapore Press Holding. However, I am slightly surprised the reactions that people have over this.

This article came in useful for me as I stopped a client from posting an article about them on Facebook wholesale as I knew it was against the copy rights of The Straits Times.

I was searching for the cost, but it wasn’t that easy to find at The Straits Times website or at Singapore Press Holdings.

But do note that the licence fees is per article per year which means you have to renew it yearly.

So think twice before you cut and paste an article wholesale from the principal site.

It is also interesting to note that the Singapore Press Holdings have also been accused of infringing of the copyright of websites.

In August of 2009, highlighted that they spotted a photo with the Redsports watermark was conveniently cropped off and posted on a SPH website and one its papers.

Wrote Redsports,

What part of “© REDSPORTS.SG” did they not understand? (© is the universally accepted symbol that stands for copyright)

The photo was taken by Marvin Lowe, a Red Sports volunteer, who confirmed that Omy did not at any time seek his permission to use the photo. Neither did they ask us. We would have rejected them outright because of the intended use of the photo.

Given the circumstances of the story, we think the infringement is especially vile. A young girl died tragically. Was OMY so eager to give a face to the story that they would stoop so low as to rip off someone else’s picture?

At the bottom of the website, there is a line that says: SPH Copyright ©

The double standard.


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