Singapore Press Holdings sues TRS couple for copyright infringement
SINGAPORE - Court papers for a copyright infringement suit initiated by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) were served on the couple behind sociopolitical website The Real Singapore (TRS) outside the State Courts on Monday.
Yang Kaiheng, 26, and his fiancee Ai Takagi, 22, an Australian, were walking to the building in Havelock Square to attend a pre-trial conference when a process server from WongPartnership served the writ of summons on them.
SPH claims in the writ of summons that either Yang or Takagi or both have infringed its copyright in SPH content by reproducing and/or substantially reproducing SPH articles, and/or authorising their reproduction without the licence and authorisation of the company.
SPH is seeking, among other things, a declaration that the defendants have infringed copyright; an injunction to restrain them; damages; alternatively an account of profits they have made by copyright infringement and payment of all sums found due.
Both have been charged with seven counts of publishing seditious articles on TRS which allegedly promoted ill will and hostility between different races or classes in Singapore between October 2013 and February this year.
They also face another charge of failing to produce documents relating to the financial statements of TRS to a police officer on March 26.
Earlier this month, Yang was given permission to to visit his critically ill father in hospital in Brisbane, Australia. He was told to be back a day before the pre-trial conference on Monday.
Yang returned to Singapore a week ago. His father is also back in Singapore and warded in a hospital.
TRS was shut down by its editors on May 3 after the Media Development Authority (MDA) suspended their licence to operate the site and ordered them to take it offline.
Meanwhile, the couple's lawyer Choo Zheng Xi will be making representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers on the criminal matter.
Mr Choo said he has made the necessary communications with MDA about the suspension of TRS.
The next pre-trial conference is on July 1.
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