Copyright protection in Thailand.

Last updated: March 11, 2021
Copyright protection in Thailand

This guide takes you through everything you need to know about copyright in Thailand.

Once you have created a piece of work, it is important that you copyright the work in order to become the legal owner of it and to prevent other people from using the work in a way that may gain profit.

Let’s take a look at the key topics.

What is copyright?

Copyright is the term used to describe the rights that a creator has over their works and have the right to do any act according to the Copyright Act (1994).

Copyright protection does not cover ideas or procedures, processes or systems or methods of use or operation or concepts, principles, discoveries, scientific or mathematical theories.

What type of works can be copyrighted?

Under section 4 of the Copyright Act, the following works can be copyrighted:

  • Literary work
  • Dramatic work
  • Computer program
  • Artistic work
    • Work of painting or drawing
    • Work of sculpture
    • Work of lithography
    • Work of architecture
    • Photographic work
    • Work of illustration
    • Work of applied art
  • Musical work
  • Audiovisual work
  • Cinematographic work
  • Sound recording
  • Broadcasting work

What is not considered as copyright works?

Section 7 states that the following shall not be deemed copyright works:

  • News of the day and facts having the character of mere information, not being works in the literary, scientific or artistic fields
  • The constitution and legislation
  • Regulations, bylaws, notifications, orders, explanations and official correspondence of the Ministries, Departments or any other government or local units
  • Judicial decisions, orders, decisions and official reports
  • Translations and collections of the materials referred to the items above, made by the Ministries, Departments or any other government or local units

Ownership of unpublished work vs published work

The author shall be the owner of the copyright under the following conditions:

Unpublished work

The author must be either a Thai national, reside in Thailand or be a national of or reside in a member country of the Convention on the Protection of Copyright. Furthermore, it is expected that residence in Thailand or any other eligible country is primarily designated to the creation of the work.

Published work

Published work will be under copyright protection provided that the first publication of the author was made either in Thailand or any other participating country (of the Convention on the Protection of Copyright). If the first publication was created in a country outside of the eligible zone, the work in question must be published in Thailand or another member country of the convention no longer than 30 days from the first publication.

What rights does the copyright owner have?

Pursuant to section 15, the owner of copyright shall have the exclusive rights of:

  1. Reproduction or adaptation
  2. Communication to the public
  3. Rental of the original or the copies of a computer program, an audiovisual work, a cinematographic work and sound recordings
  4. Assigning benefits accruing from copyright to other persons
  5. Licensing the rights mentioned in items (1), (2) or (3), with or without conditions, provided that such conditions shall not unfairly restrict competition

Validity of copyright

Copyright is valid for the lifetime of the author and for 50 years after the author’s death.

Copyright for photographic work, audiovisual work, cinematographic work, sound recording or audio and video broadcasting work that is published will be valid for 50 years from the first publication.

Copyright for applied art works is valid for 25 years and if the work is published, the copyright will subsist for 50 years from the first publication.

Infringement of copyright

The following acts against a copyrighted work without permission is considered an infringement of copyright:

  • Reproduction or adaptation
  • Communication to the public

For audiovisual work, cinematographic work or sound recordings and computer programs, the following acts are an infringement of copyright:

  • Reproduction or adaptation
  • Communication to the public
  • Rental of the original or copies of a work

Infringement of sound and video broadcasting include:

  • Making an audiovisual work, a cinematographic work, a sound recording or a sound and video broadcasting work whether in whole or in part
  • Rebroadcasting whether in whole or in part
  • Making a sound and video broadcasting work to be heard or seen in public in return for the payment of money or other commercial benefits

Any person who commits the following acts against the work for profit is considered to have infringed copyright:

  • Selling, holding for sale, offering for sale, letting, offering for lease, selling by hire purchase or offering for hire purchase
  • Communication to the public
  • Distribution in a manner which may cause damage to the owner of the copyright
  • Self-importation or importation on order into the Kingdom

Exemption of copyright infringement

Under section 32, the following acts to copyrighted work are not deemed as copyright infringement:

  • Research or study of the work which is not for benefit
  • Use for personal benefit or for the benefit of the user and his family members of close relatives
  • Comment, criticism or introduction of the work with an acknowledgement of the ownership of the copyright in such work
  • Reporting of news through mass media with an acknowledgement of the ownership of the copyright in such work
  • Reproduction, adaptation, exhibition or display for the benefit of judicial proceedings or administrative proceedings by authorised officials or for the reporting the result of such proceedings
  • Reproduction, adaptation, exhibition or display by a teacher for the benefit of his/her teaching provided that the act is not for profit
  • Reproduction, adaptation in part of a work or abridgement or making a summary by a teacher or an educational institution so as to distribute or sell to students in a class or in an educational institution provided that the act is not for profit
  • Use of the work as part of questions and answers in an examination

A citation, quotation, copy, emulation or reference in part and from a copyrighted work with an acknowledgement of the owner is not deemed as an infringement of copyright.

Copyright registration

Copyright registration in Thailand can be made at the Department of Intellectual Property.

Form Lor Khor 01 must be submitted and the following information must be filled in:

  • Name of the copyright owner
  • Name of the attorney-in-fact
  • Contact address in Thailand
  • Name of work creator or alias
  • Name of joint creator or alias
  • Title of the work
  • Type of the work
  • Copyright ownership
  • Type of creativity
  • Place of creation
  • Year of creation
  • Announcement
  • Copyright notification/registration abroad
  • Approval for the use or transfer of copyright
  • Publication of the copyright information
  • The copyright owner or the attorney-in-fact signs the application

If all the information cannot be filed on form Lor Khor 01 or in each item, the applicant can specify the additional information in the annexe which must be signed by the copyright owner or attorney-in-fact.

The following supporting documents must also be submitted:

  • Certified true copy of the identification card (in the case of a natural person)
  • Certificate of the juristic person of the copyright owner issued not more than six months (in the case of a juristic person)
  • One set of the copyrighted work or photograph of the work
  • Power of attorney affixed with a duty stamp of THB 30 and a certified true copy of the identification card of the attorney-in-fact
  • If the applicant is a governmental agency or organisation, the applicant shall submit the director appointment letter of the organisation and a certified true copy of the applicant’s identification card

Conclusion

If you have any inquiries about copyright in Thailand, do not hesitate to get in touch with Acclime.

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