An amendment to the Copyright Act has resulted in the suspension of Internet streaming services by radio stations here. The amendment to Section 107B makes it an infringement of copyright to broadcast digital audio transmissions (whether by simulcast or re-transmission) through the Internet, unless otherwise authorised by the copyright owners (read : payment of licence fees to Recording Industry Performance Singapore, known also as RIPS).
RIPS is a collective licensing body that issues licences to broadcast music in Singapore. According to a report in TODAYOnline, RIPS represents 13 record companies and has been in negotiations with radio stations for licence fees in order that Internet streaming may continue. However, the licence fees tabled so far could potentially cost radio stations up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, a suggestion so unpalatable that all 22 stations (run by MediaCorp, Safra Radio and SPH UnionWorks) have chosen to suspend their online services until an agreement has been reached with RIPS.