Compliance with Takedown Notice Practices in Thailand
The takedown notice mechanism is an important tool for intellectual property right holders to combat the dissemination of illegal or infringing contents on the internet. In Thailand, there are specific provisions under the Computer-Related Crime Act B.E. 2550 (2007) (“CCA”) and the Copyright Act (No. 5) B.E. 2565 (2022) (“CA”) that govern the takedown notice processes.
Takedown Notice under the CCA:
Under the CCA, a competent official appointed by the Minister of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (“MDES”) has the authority to issue takedown notice for illegal computer data. The competent official, with the approval of the MDES, can file a petition with the court, accompanied by evidence, to request the court to block or delete the computer data. This applies to computer data that constitutes an offense under the CCA, data that affects the security of Thailand, or illegal contents.
Internet service providers (ISPs) are required to comply with takedown notice from competent officials if the notice is in the prescribed form under the CCA’s regulations. ISPs must fulfill the takedown notice within the timeframe specified by the court, not exceeding 15 days from the court’s order, unless there is a reasonable necessity for a delay.
Takedown Notice under the CA:
The Copyright Act (No. 5) B.E. 2565 (2022) provides copyright owners with the ability to initiate takedown notices for copyright infringement contents in the computer systems of various types of ISPs, including intermediary ISPs (Mere Conduit), caching ISPs, hosting ISPs, and search engine ISPs. Copyright owners can notify these ISPs to remove the claimed infringing contents, and the ISPs must promptly remove such contents. The ISP must also inform the alleged infringing user to file a counter-notice, which will be forwarded to the copyright owners. If the copyright owners fail to file a lawsuit against the alleged user within 30 days of receiving the counter-notice, the ISPs must restore the disputed information or allow access to the contents.
Takedown Notice for Other Types of Intellectual Properties:
Unlike the CA, other intellectual property-related laws, such as those governing trademarks and patents, do not explicitly provide provisions for takedown notices. In practice, intellectual property rights holders need to engage the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Office, which relies on the CCA to address illegal contents related to these types of intellectual property.
Despite the existence of these mechanisms, there is currently no comprehensive guideline issued by the government to assist intellectual property right holders in protecting their interests. Additionally, it remains unclear how Thai laws will be enforced against ISPs that do not comply with requests from rights holders, as the takedown of infringing contents currently relies on the cooperative basis of ISPs. However, the Department of Intellectual Property is working on establishing better mechanisms to enforce takedown notices for intellectual property infringing contents, including cooperation between governmental authorities and potential amendments to existing laws to address evolving technologies.
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