July 6, 2012 by Terence LEE
Updated: 8th July, 12pm UTC+8
A celebrity couple, who runs food business Twelve Cupcakes, recently put up articles written about their business on Facebook, Twitter and the company’s website. However, Singapore Press Holdings, a media conglomerate in Singapore, soon demanded payment because they reproduced its articles online.
Daniel Ong, a former radio deejay, wrote a long Facebook note last night to complain about SPH’s actions. He then wrote a follow-up letter expounding on the incident. He said that the payment would add up to “almost S$3,000″ (US$2,360), a claim which SPH later denied.
SPH responded to Daniel in yesterday’s edition of The Straits Times. It reiterated the fact that under copyright law, interviewees and information providers don’t control the distribution rights to a piece of work. Authors do.
But while it said that displaying content on websites is against the law, framing actual articles up and displaying them at physical stores does not constitute copyright infringement.
In Daniel’s first note, he said that his wife, former beauty queen Jaime Teo, received an email from SPH demanding a payment of S$535 (US$422) per story. They were interviewed by the Straits Times, The New Paper, and a couple of magazines. Both newspapers belong to SPH.
He then added that when they took down the stories as a compromise, the couple was asked to pay a S$214 (US$169) “investigation fee”. If they don’t pay, they would still be “liable for infringement” for the next six years.