Copyright Registration in Singapore

Is there a centralized copyright agency in Singapore? Not exactly. Singapore operates under the automatic copyright protection system. This means that once an original work is created and expressed in a tangible form, copyright protection is immediately accorded without the need for official registration or other formalities. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) oversees copyright matters in the country. However, its role is more of policy making and public education rather than copyright registration.

Regarding a system for copyright registration, there isn't a formal system in place for copyright registration in Singapore. The onus falls on the creator to prove ownership if disputes arise. While not obligatory, creators may choose to take certain steps to help prove originality, like keeping drafts or having a witness to the creation process. Since there's no registration, no associated fees exist either.

In Singapore, copyright registration isn't mandatory. It's automatically granted upon creation of the work. The automatic protection system ensures that the failure to register does not yield any legal consequences.


The requirement of copyright notice isn't a mandatory one in Singapore. However, adding a copyright notice to your work could help deter infringement by making it clear that the work is protected. The absence of a copyright notice does not imply that the work isn't protected.

Similarly, there's no requirement of copyright deposit in Singapore. As a consequence, there's no specific penalty or consequence for not making a copyright deposit. Remember, the failure to register a copyrighted work doesn't yield legal consequences since the protection is automatic.


Singapore's main copyright legislation is the Copyright Act (Cap 63), with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) being the primary enforcing agency. This legislation includes provisions that address the digital exploitation of works, such as online piracy.

The Act also has extraterritorial application. In essence, it can apply to foreign-owned or foreign-operated websites that infringe copyright, as long as the infringement has a substantial connection to Singapore.


In general, the creator or author of the work is the original owner of the copyright. However, if a work is made by an employee as part of their job, the employer is typically the owner of the copyright.

If a copyrighted work is created by an independent contractor, the contractor typically retains the copyright unless otherwise stated in the contract.

Co-ownership of copyright is possible if the work is a product of collaboration where the contributions can't be separated.

Copyright owners have the right to transfer or license their copyright, often subject to the terms of a contract. However, to be valid, the agreement must be in writing and signed by or on behalf of the assignor.

International Aspects

Singapore is a party to several international copyright conventions including the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the WIPO Copyright Treaty, and the TRIPS Agreement. These conventions establish minimum standards of protection and mandate that each member country provides national treatment to authors from other member countries.

Recent years have seen Singapore making strides in strengthening its intellectual property framework to keep up with digital advancements. One prominent trend is the increasing focus on online copyright infringements and piracy. The country has implemented site-blocking measures to combat piracy websites, reflecting its commitment to uphold copyright protections in the digital space.

It's clear that while Singapore doesn't have formal copyright registration, it remains a strong advocate for intellectual property rights, continuously adapting its laws to better serve creators in the rapidly-evolving digital landscape.