TRS editor apologises for lifting SPH content

Takagi's apology was part of an out-of-court settlement of a copyright infringement suit with SPH.
Takagi's apology was part of an out-of-court settlement of a copyright infringement suit with SPH.

The developer and editor of now-defunct socio-political website, The Real Singapore (TRS), Ai Takagi, has unreservedly apologised to Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

This was part of an out-of-court settlement of a copyright infringement suit reached by SPH and the duo behind TRS, SPH said yesterday.

In the suit filed last May against Takagi, 22, an Australian, and Singaporean Yang Kaiheng, 27, SPH said 244 of its news articles had been reproduced or substantially reproduced on TRS without permission.

The settlement, reached on confidential terms, includes payment of an undisclosed sum to SPH and the publication of an apology by Takagi.

The Straits Times understands Yang denies any involvement with the site beyond setting it up in 2012.

In the apology, on Page B3 of yesterday's print edition of ST, Takagi acknowledged being TRS' developer, operator, editor, moderator, administrator and/or manager, and admitted content - a "few hundred" articles published between Feb 2, 2008 and March 29 last year - belonging to SPH was reproduced and/or substantially reproduced on TRS, without SPH's approval.

Acknowledging the significant investment made by SPH in assembling and maintaining its team of journalists and editorial staff, she said she recognised that copyright infringement attracts severe criminal penalties and also civil remedies. She said: "I undertake not to repeat such acts of infringement and hereby unreservedly apologise to SPH."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2016, with the headline 'TRS editor apologises for lifting SPH content'. Print Edition | Subscribe