The Legal Department (LD) at the ABU is one of
the busiest departments of the Union. It advises the ABU across all levels and
works closely with all the other departments on legal issues, regulatory
solutions and assists the Secretariat with administrative and personnel
It is also the port of call for Members of the
Union in its provision of a wide range of services anchored on its mission to
protect, promote, assist and advance the rights and interests of both the ABU
and its Members in an engaging, effective and the most cost-efficient manner
Among its many responsibilities, the Legal
Department provides the following services:
- Promote and protect the members’ Intellectual Property Rights
(IPRs) which are among the most valuable assets of the broadcasters
With the proliferation of more intangible
services across wider platforms, the rapid development in technology has
created a regulatory imbalance in the broadcasting industry which exposes the
intellectual property of the broadcasters to higher risk of piracy and
infringement. The Legal Department and the ABU Intellectual Property & Legal Committee (IPLC) ensure that the ABU Members are always abreast with the
new technologies and have the necessary know-how for protecting their rights.
The Legal Department and the IPLC work closely with stakeholders in the sector
for the interest of our Members who benefit from this cooperation. It is
also very active internationally by participating in the WIPO
Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) meetings, the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Intellectual Property Alliance and other
multi-lateral and bilateral forums, government consultative bodies, and
business organisations in pursuance of the objective of the ABU to promote
regional and international mutual understanding and cooperation through the
medium of broadcasting.
- Organise and participate in forums to enhance common understanding
of legal issues
The Legal Department organises, conducts and
participates in seminars, workshops and multi-lateral forums to raise awareness
among its Members on legal issues relevant to broadcasters and broadcasting in
the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The Legal Department publishes regularly relevant
contemporary articles in the ABU Quarterly News to address legal and practical
challenges facing the industry.
- Protect ABU rights and interests in contract negotiation and
The ABU enters into a variety of commercial contracts ranging from simple
purchase of equipment to multi – million dollar rights acquisition. The Legal
Department works closely with all the relevant departments to negotiate,
discuss, draft and protects the interest of the ABU and its members.
It is further engaged in protecting the rights acquired by our Members
from the Union by advising and collaborating with them on potential breaches by
third parties. It also carries out surveys on Sports Rights to effectively
distribute the rights acquired for the benefit of members.
- Assist in revision of ABU Statutes, Rules and
The ABU Statutes, Rules and Regulations form
part of the documents which are necessary for the ABU to achieve its mission. The
Legal Department participates, advises and assists in this process to ensure
that the intentions and desires which the proposed changes seek to achieve are
accurately reflected in the amended provisions. It is actively involved
during the Annual General Assembly in assisting the election to the
Administrative Council and the election of the President and Vice-Presidents. It
is also called upon to assist in conducting other committee elections.
- Provide in-country legal consultancy services
The Legal Department provides in-country
consultancy services to our Members with the partnership of industry and
academic experts in the field of broadcasting and IPRs. With its closeness to
various stakeholders in the sector, it can assist the emerging markets of
our Members to effectively and efficiently tap into the best pool of resources
available in the industry; our legal experts are highly knowledgeable
practitioners and specialist in their fields. It also partners with law
firms in the region and across the world so that Members can positively resolve
any multi-jurisdictional legal issues.
- Standardization and Quality Management
The importance of standardisation and quality
management in the media and broadcast industry cannot be underestimated. As a member
of the ABU Standardisation Committee, the Legal Department is actively involved
in drafting and adoption of Quality Management Systems. It also organises
workshops and seminars on Quality Management during the Annual ABU General
Assembly. During the last meeting of the Quality Management workshop in
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in March 2016, the standards for the ISAS MEDIA 9001 has
been adopted. A copy is available on the Publications section of the website.
A Quality Management workshop was held in Bali, Indonesia during the 53rd ABU General Assembly. The ABU Secretariat is your contact point if your organization is interested to be certified.