Singapore to revise Copyright laws to support big data. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore to revise Copyright laws to support big data. Source: Shutterstock

Singapore supports SMEs with open data

SINGAPORE has proposed to revise its Copyright Act, hoping to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) gain lawful access to data for the purpose of analysis.

At present, text and data are mostly copied in large volumes by individuals and enterprises without permission to generate insights. This exposes users to potential legal implications for copyright infringement.

The proposed change to the Act will give users access to copyrighted data and allow them to create insights without the fear of copyright infringement.

This concurs with Singapore’s recent digital transformation effort Start Digital, which allows new SMEs to get a head start through two core digital solutions aimed at accelerating their growth and scalability.

No matter the industry, the amendment will substantially help data scientists in their quest to unlock new opportunities, speed up processes, and reduce overall costs to access data and create meaningful insights for distribution.

In essence, the proposal is expected to promote applications of data analytics and big data operations in the country.

Data analysis in Singapore is estimated to contribute at least US$1 billion per annum to its economy, said Kiren Kumar, Singapore Economic Development Board Assistant Managing Director recently — and that figure has been constantly growing in light of the growth in the country.

The government also believes that the amendment will help Singapore better establish itself as a leader in big data operations across Asia.

“A digital-first mindset is essential for businesses that want to stay relevant and competitive in the Digital Economy. I am heartened to see the industry coming together to offer innovative digital solutions to help our businesses on their digital transformation journey,” said Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Chief Executive Tan Kiat How recently.

While it was reported that only 57 percent of Singapore SMEs are familiar with the term ‘digital transformation’, the proposed change in the Act is likely to go a long way in making big data analytics more accessible and propelling digital transformations in the future.

As anticipated by the Ministry, there will be many who oppose this revision, especially from creators and publishers of data, and other intermediaries who benefit from the protections that current laws provide.

To protect their interests, however, the Ministry has emphasized that data obtained as a result of paid subscriptions by analysts and scientists cannot be redistributed along with insights — unless the creators and publishers of the data have been compensated appropriately.