SPH launches copyright infringement suit against TRS

Singapore Press Holdings has launched a copyright infringement suit against the creators of socio-political site The Real Singapore (TRS).

SPH stated that a substantial amount of its content has been reproduced on the website without permission. This is from January 2011 to April this year. Marketing has reached out to SPH for a statement on the matter and a spokesperson has directed Marketing to an article published earlier on its website.

According to SPH, it had sent letters to TRS on 18 March and 2 April to notify them of the copyright infringement. SPH added that while the TRS team acknowledged and responded to the first letter, the second had gone unheard. SPH also said that while TRS claimed that it would be remove the content, it was still accessible online until earlier this month when the MDA stepped in and ordered the TRS to shut down its operations.

This is not the first time the two organisations have butt heads.

Following the controversial shutdown of TRS, its founder and former editor Alex Tan had also set up an “independent news site” named Straits Times Review (STR), much to the ire of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The Straits Times stated in an article  that SPH was seeking legal recourse against Tan for the site’s name, which bears close resemblance to its flagship newspaper.

However, since the site was registered in Australia by Tan, who had paid a “one-time fee of $120″, legally, the matter is out of the Singapore jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Tan later sought to settle the matter out of court and changed the name.