DEPARTMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’S NEW NOTIFICATION REGARDING QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT AGENT
On 25 December 2019, the Department of Intellectual Property (“DIP”) issued a Notification on Recordal of Copyright Enforcement Agent B.E. 2562 ( 2019) (“Copyright Agent Notification”), which replaces the previous Notification of 2002, and has been effective since 25 December 2019.
This new Copyright Agent Notification sets forth more stringent requirements and processes for the application to be recorded as a copyright enforcement agent of a copyright owner with the DIP, and for the authorities to approve and issue a copyright enforcement agent identification card. For example, officers of the DIP shall be required to cooperate with the Royal Thai Police to check the criminal record of a person applying to be recorded as a copyright enforcement agent. Moreover, an agent who applies for the recordation must be present at the DIP in order to take a test, only people who score higher than 60% in the said test will qualify to be an agent.
In each agent recordal application, the agent must provide clear information on the copyright work that he/she is authorised by a copyright owner to take action against infringement of in Thailand, which must be supported by clear evidence of authorisation. This official record of copyright enforcement agents will be available to the general public in order to allow them to check and verify whether or not a person is actually authorised to represent a copyright owner to take action against infringement activities.
However, it should be noted that a copyright enforcement agent is not required by law to be recorded with the DIP in order to be able to act on behalf of a copyright owner in any enforcement action against copyright infringement activity or against any copyright infringer. This recordation and copyright enforcement agent identification cards issued by the DIP merely aim to help facilitate and streamline the process of verification by relevant government authorities, especially the police, in enforcement action and also to allow an alleged infringer to check and verify whether or not the agent taking action against him/her is actually authorised to do so.
The Deputy Minister of the DIP said that this new regulation would enhance copyright law enforcement and make it more efficient and transparent.