[copyrights] A Study of Contrasts

A glance at whitehouse.gov‘s copyright statement shows how forward thinking they are.

The two paragraphs of that copyright statement which says:
a) [All] government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected. The United States Government may receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

b) Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

In a word, WOW!

Swing around and let’s see how the Singapore government website copyright stand is – taking the key ones:

4. The materials located on this Web Site including the information and software programs (the Contents), are protected by copyright, trademark and other forms of proprietary rights. All rights, title and interest in the Contents are owned by, licensed to or controlled by MICA.

6. Except as otherwise provided, the Contents of this Web Site shall not be reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted or otherwise distributed in any way, without the prior written permission of MICA.

7. Modification of any of the Contents or use of the Contents for any other purpose will be a violation of MICA’s copyright and other intellectual property rights. Graphics and img on this Web Site are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced or appropriated in any manner without written permission of MICA.

13. Except as set forth below, caching and links to, and the framing of this Web Site or any of the Contents are prohibited.

14. You must secure permission from MICA prior to hyperlinking to, or framing, this Web Site or any of the Contents, or engaging in similar activities. MICA reserves the right to impose conditions when permitting any hyperlinking to, or framing of this Web Site or any of the Contents.

Ah, what a arcane and myopic stand. Never mind that you cannot use their content (paid out of tax dollars), you cannot even link nor frame the site.

Let’s now look at the Indian Government website rules:

* Material featured on this Portal may be reproduced free of charge after taking proper permission by sending a mail to us. However, the material has to be reproduced accurately and not to be used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Wherever the material is being published or issued to others, the source must be prominently acknowledged. However, the permission to reproduce this material shall not extend to any material which is identified as being copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the departments/copyright holders concerned.

* We do not object to you linking directly to the information that is hosted on this Portal and no prior permission is required for the same. However, we would like you to inform us about any links provided to this Portal so that you can be informed of any changes or updations therein. Also, we do not permit our pages to be loaded into frames on your site. The pages belonging to this Portal must load into a newly opened browser window of the User.

Now, let’s check our northern neighbour, Malaysia’s website copyright stance:

* Copyright of the myGovernment portal and its contents but limited to the information, text, images, graphics, sound files, video files and their arrangement, and material therein, is owned by the Malaysian Government unless otherwise indicated. No part or parts of this portal may be modified, copied, distributed, retransmitted, broadcasted, displayed, reproduced, published, licensed, transferred, sold or commercially dealt with any manner without the express prior written consent of the Malaysian Government.

Seems like both the Singapore and Malaysian governments are of the same mindset!

Now you know!


  1. Moreover…
    Moreover, the SG website has no translations in the National Languages. The contact info page http://www.gov.sg/contactinfo.htm# demands “Please correspond in English only.”
    Swedish Gov website if fully XHTML compliant, allows disabled access.
    Hmmm… We have a long way to go, Harish

  2. Did *they* obtain permission to link?
    Since they insist on getting permission from MICA before linking to their site, I wonder whether they have contacted everyone *they* link to, to obtain permission for linking?

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