Casbaa assails new Singapore content rules

Robert Clark
telecomasia.net
Regional cable TV lobby group Casbaa has attacked new content sharing rules in Singapore, warning it threatens the city’s future as a media hub.
 
Casbaa said the Singapore’s new Media Conduct Code, which requires cable operators StarHub and SingTel to share key programming, are in breach of World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) copyright rules.
 
The new scheme deprives content creators of their freedom to negotiate contracts, Casbaa said.
 
“We believe the government and the regulator, the Media Development Authority (MDA), have made a serious miscalculation of the damage to Singapore’s economic interests through this excessively broad regulatory decision,” said Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies.
 “The ‘cross-carriage remedy’, insisting on the sharing of high value programming, damages the interests of every content owner and distributor,” said Twiston Davies.
 
“Ultimately, the new regulations violate Singapore’s international commitments to the likes of the WTO and WIPO copyright agreements.”
Casbaa’s 130 members include content owners, cable TV operators, vendors and others from across the region.
 
Twiston Davies said that if providers could negotiate contracts directly, the pace of investment in content, new channels and technology advances would slow down.

The regulations, introduced by the MDA on March 12 following a triennial review, cover all types of TV programming. 
 
MDA officials could not be contacted to respond to the claims.

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