THE TEMASEK TIMES

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SPH demands payment from local SME ‘Twelve Cupcakes’ for sharing interviews and stories written about them

Posted by temasektimes on July 6, 2012

The boss of a successful home-grown SME ‘Twelve Cupcakes’ Daniel Ong was shocked to receive an email from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) demanding payment for the interviews granted to its papers and magazines.

Daniel Ong and his wife have given a couple of interviews to the SPH papers and magazines after which they share them with their ‘fans’ on Facebook and Twitter.

They were shocked and disgusted after they received an email from SPH:

“We get an email stating that we need to pay SPH $535.00 per story about Jaime(my superstar wifey) and our Successful business Twelve cupcakes. Oh And there’s also a $214 fee for investigating us…huh?!?!?!?! So all in all we owe them about $3k…??? FOR sharing it on social media and our own website.”

Daniel expressed his unhappiness on his Facebook:

“Did you know? Biz owners are not allowed to share stories about themselves on their websites unless they pay… Stalls/cafes etc …cant photocopy and then put it at their stalls or sign boards for people to see…Unless they pay…”

After they agree with remove all the articles, they receive a reply from SPH that they still need to pay a fee for their ‘investigation’:

“Whats even better… i replied them saying we will take down all articles and we get a super cold reply saying “Since you will remove the articles…” YOU NOW NEED TO PAY SPH $214 as an investigation fee on you. HUH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

SPH is the only print media company in Singapore and enjoys an ABSOLUTE MONOPOLY in the market. Unless a second independent media company emerges to give it some competition, Singaporeans will have to live under its ‘mercy’ forever.

Read rest of Daniel Ong’s note here.

34 Responses to “SPH demands payment from local SME ‘Twelve Cupcakes’ for sharing interviews and stories written about them”

  1. Stupidity Knows No Bound said

    So how many “invoices” have Mr brown received already? I wonder?
    Maybe all the bloggers who write and advertised about the MSM (even at the mention of their paper names) should be considered an advertorial or free -ad for them.
    They should start billing them right away, multiply that by the number of eye-balls/hits that read their blogs.

  2. Yeah it’s ridiculous… SPH sounds so cheap… billings like this should at least reach SPH Board for review ….

  3. Anak Singapura said

    Both can play the same game.And so my suggestion.

    Pay,Pay the measly $214,and than inform your 30k readers.Let the 30k readers spread the news to 300k friends.

    In future anyone granting interviews to SPH would demand a payment and a copyright.SPH thus painted itself into a corner.

    Penn wise pound foolish.

  4. sunhorse said

    They control the media, you not happy also LL.

  5. Jack said

    It should be a win win, SPH gets the story, the company in concern gets the publicity.

    Boycott SPH for any interviews!

  6. Dd said

    That’s why I boycott sph papers for a long time

  7. Bobby liu said

    This is why SPH will always be where they are right now. As a publisher, my take is, they have very little understanding of social media. Sharing a story on social media will only boost readership for SPH but obviously they don’t see it that way. What to do? Myopia seems to have no cure.

  8. Tan Big Tan said

    Why so surprised? Its part of the Pay And Pay culture. Otherwise how are the Ministers and top civilians servants going to get paid multi-million dollar salaries. Why, they might have to spend some time thinking of ways to justify their freaking humongous salaries!!! Oh the humanity!!!!!

  9. stevenado said

    Just don’t pay.Shame on SPH!!!! All singaporean doing business must be aware of such cheap skate stunt by SPH!

  10. wat$ said

    you didn’t know meh. its in the fine print you signed. this is the same for all publishers. you cannot reprint anything you gave to them.

  11. Tubbybeef said

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the “investigation fee” is ridiculous.

    But I honestly don’t get why taking the articles and posting them on your social media would be a win-win situation. From what I understand, the original publishers of the interview (SPH, ST, TNP) would lose OUT on readership because interested parties who want to know the contents of the interview/how the interview went could just go to Daniel’s Facebook. Twitter etc to check out the article.

    If Daniel had not re-published the interviews on his social media, readers who wanted to know about the interview would have no choice but to purchase the magazines/newspapers published by SPH, ST, TNP. I can see how and why the original publishers of the interview would be mad if they had lost out on 30,000 viewers (since Daniel claimed that his Facebook and Twitter reach out to 30,000 people) minimum – worst case scenario.

    While I disagree with the way they imposed the fine (without warning), I think we should be more discerning before throwing rocks at Big Brother all the time. I think a fine is in order, but only if the parties had been warned prior to their interviews (either through contract or verbal warning). Throwing a fine out of the blue without prior warning makes the publishing companies look like bullies, while technically speaking there’s nothing wrong with demanding payment from Daniel (because he did not ask the publishers involved for permission to republish the contents of their articles).

    I don’t side anyone, I just don’t really understand how distributing the interview on Facebook and Twitter will benefit the publishing companies.

    • Sashaqueenie said

      If an article was days, weeks, months, years old, how to buy? Pay The Shitty Times just to read an article about cupcakes? CRAZY!!!!! What about reading past article(s) at the library? You never watch those investigative stories whereby the protagonist goes to the library and scan through films of past articles? That’s free information because the papers built their empire on other people’s stories!!!! Thus, the principle goes, if you want to write about other people, you must also share that information. Why? One doesn’t exist wouldn’t the other.

      • Tubbybeef said

        Firstly, who the publisher is, is irrelevant. It could have been me, or you, or anyone else who wrote and subsequently published an article. The point here is, the work belongs to the author and whoever represents the author. If the people responsible for the work decide to publish the work, then anyone else who decides to republish the work without consent of the original publishers is liable for copyright infringement.

        Next, the nature of the article is irrelevant. You could have written an article about the squareness of a square, the colours of the rainbow or the stench of dog poo, but if you publish it, then anyone who republishes the entire contents of the article is also liable for copyright infringement.

        Also, you speak of libraries and people scanning through films of past articles. What you have to understand is, although usage of a public library might be free for you or me, that’s because the government or whichever statutory board chooses to pay for the running cost of the library without charging you or me admission fee, borrowing fee, etc. That’s why it’s called a public library. Private libraries are not the same – try to access any online journal database and you’ll find you need to pay subscription fees in order to access material in those databases. Our public libraries provide this service for free, because education is important enough for them to absorb the cost. And while it might be free for us to use the service, it definitely is not free for the library to provide the service. Books have to be bought, staff hired, commercial licenses to access a database – all cost money. I’m sure the the National Library Board also pays any publisher, local or foreign, in order to acquire and use its resources be it past or present.

        Finally, according to your “principle” – if you want to write about other people, you must also share that information. I’m going to assume that it also applies to movies, tv shows etc because “One doesn’t exist without the other.”
        So, if actors in movies decide to broadcast the entire film they star in on Youtube, or on their personal blogs, there’s nothing wrong with that? Because “you must also share that information as one doesn’t exist without the other”. In what way does your “principle” make any sense?

        It’s copyright infringement either way, whether you distribute a published work without consent, or distribute a moving picture without consent, or while we’re at it, distribute ANY work without consent. I don’t see what the publishers in question here are doing wrong by fining Daniel for posting the article on his public page.

  12. Jaded said

    Booooooooooooooo!!! Do not grant any interviews to SPH anymore!

  13. Felix Chin said

    You should have ask for a payment granting them that interview. In sharing the article with 30,000 of your fb “friends” who benefits? SPH? doubt so,. It’s YOU. So you do owe them a fine. But as I’ve said, you should have set out a clear understanding in the beginning by:

    – charging them a fee for your interview
    – ensure you can have circulation rights of that article
    – they cannot penalise you for copyright etc

    And i thought you are a businessman! So how next time one shop come up with the name “10 cupckaes”? You sulk in temasek times? TRE? TOC? Go sue them my man!!!

    • Z said

      They actually ‘sulked’ in their own fb – and people appreciate finding out the shit SPH is pulling. TT and others decide to ‘report’ it. Learn to read before preaching.

      • Jack said

        I would strongly suggest that the next time before the SPH reporters conduct an interview, ask the other party to sign an undertaking that they are auware that the interview is free to SPH but when the article is publish, the interviewee will need to pay SPH for using the article.

        Make it clear upfront before the interview.

      • Felix Chin said

        so they sulk on their own fb, but tt reported it, so they sulk in tt lah, dionk!

        don’t you know, people who were in the polling station was plainly not within 200 metres of the polling station, you forgot huh?

        get a gripe with our legal system and social interpretation before you post. I preach you give me tithe? dionk…………….

  14. Felix Chin said

    You should have ask for a payment granting them that interview. In sharing the article with 30,000 of your fb “friends” who benefits? SPH? doubt so,. It’s YOU. So you do owe them a fine. But as I’ve said, you should have set out a clear understanding in the beginning by:

    – charging them a fee for your interview
    – ensure you can have circulation rights of that article
    – they cannot penalise you for copyright etc

    And i thought you are a businessman! So how next time one shop come up with the name “10 cupckaes”? You sulk in temasek times? TRE? TOC? Go sue them my man!!

  15. Playfair said

    They are just like the PAP who keep on preaching everything they do must have more profits.
    Sounds familiar recently MONEY, MONEY collect as much as they can. For What?

  16. spotlessleopard said

    Just boycott ALL SPH Publications…like I did…(for more than 20years already)

  17. George said

    Well , I learnt something new today.

  18. Did they share the link on facebook — or republish the articles locally? The former should not entail any bill at all, the second is a case of copyright infringement.

  19. Ryan said

    Bro relax right…I Think SPH Soon Going Bankrupt So Dats Y Asking For Money……Just Take Alook At The GST Money …I sure Damn Think Dat We Pay More then Wat we Get In A month… Some Of Us Dun Event Get The $250… only the $110 well For All I Know Each Of Us Pay For Our Gst just take 7% of $10 multiply it by no of people in sg multiply by 365 days…is it fair…? They earn so much we get so little and they think by giving us cn help in WHAT sense… with the rising of bills…Like I Use 2 SAy 4 More Years… Revolution Will take place

  20. kaypoh said

    The Ministry of Truth, from 1984, looool, all your Truths is belong to us…..🙂

  21. Ron said

    Is it your Tithe offering to SPH.

  22. K said

    Yap, I boycott the robbers’ publishing house for 40 years already.

  23. Anon said

    has SPH explained their side of the story? wah hate SPH so much until throw vitriol without SPH able to give an explanation huh?

  24. wikileaks said

    pap + sph = pay and pay to u dies ..still have pay GST for your coffin

  25. True Singaporean said

    SPH is committing daylight robbery. They are like the Ah Long San threatening businesses.

  26. kaypoh said

    Pay em in cupcakes, $500 per cupcake…..

  27. Mally said

    I was puking when I read you calling your wife “superstar wifey”, since SPH has made your wifey a superstar, it is only right you pay them!
    Fame don’t come free….

  28. Hi there noobs. said

    Singapore Press Holdings 1, Citizens 0.

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