The Copyright (Compounding of Offences) Regulations 2023 [P.U. (A) 265/2023] allow certain copyright offences to be settled by paying a fine instead of going to court.
The offences that can be compounded are listed in Schedule 1 of the regulations.
The compounding process involves issuing a compound offer, which the offender can accept.
Payment of the fine can be made through various methods. Failure to pay the fine within the specified time may result in prosecution.
"Compoundable offences" refers to offences that can be settled or resolved through compounding. Compounding refers to reaching an agreement or settlement between the offender and the relevant authorities, where the offender agrees to pay a specified sum of money or fulfil certain conditions in exchange for the offence not being pursued further in court.
In the context of the Copyright Act 1987, compoundable offences are offences specified in the First Schedule of the Act that can be compounded with the consent of the Public Prosecutor. The specific offences considered compoundable are listed in the Second Schedule of the Copyright (Compounding of Offences) Regulations 2023.
Under the Copyright (Compounding of Offences) Regulations 2023, offences can be compounded through a specific procedure outlined in the regulations.
Offer to Compound: Upon receiving information or a complaint about a compoundable offence, the Controller, Deputy Controllers, or any person authorised by the Controller may issue an offer to compound the offence to the offender. This offer is made with the Public Prosecutor's consent.
Acceptance of Offer: If the offender accepts the offer to compound, they must accept it in writing using Form 3 of the Second Schedule. The acceptance should include the admission of committing the offence and the payment of the compound amount.
Payment of Compound: The compound amount can be made in cash, by money order, postal order, bank draft crossed with the words "Account Payee Only," or through an electronic fund transfer. The Controller, Deputy Controllers, or any person authorised by the Controller will issue an official receipt for the payment.
If the offer to compound is accepted and the full payment is made within the specified period, no further proceedings will be taken against the offender for the compounded offence. However, prosecution may be taken in without further notice if the payment is not made within the specified period.
If the fine for a compounded offence is not paid within the specified time, prosecution may be instituted without further notice.
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