Amendments to Taiwan's Copyright Act; Playing CDs in Public might be Charged

Amendments to Taiwan's Copyright Act; Playing CDs in Public might be Charged
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What you need to know

Taiwan’s Copyright Act has not been overhauled since 1998. This year, the government is going to revamp the act and will call a public hearing in the coming days to catch up with the digital era.

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With the rapid development of the Internet and technology, Taiwan’s current Copyright Act has become outdated. The Ministry of Economics Affairs (MOEA) announced today that after several years of work, it would make substantial amendments to the Copyright Act by adding 32 more articles. The total number of articles in the Copyright Act will amount to 149 after the amendments. The amendment drafts will regulate the means of public broadcast and fair use more carefully.

Radio Taiwan International reports, Taiwan’s Copyright Act has not been overhauled since 1998. This year, the government is going to revamp the act and will call a public hearing in the coming days to catch up with the digital era. The Executive Yuan expects to examine the amended act in March.

Apple Daily reports, cafes and barbershops can play radio shows without being charged, but if they play CDs, the copyright holders of the CDs are entitled to charge the shops for playing their music in public.

Wang Mei-hua, director-general of the Intellectual Property Office, says that the music industry thinks playing CDs copyrighted for private use to create a better public environment is a means of making more profit, so music copyright holders should have the right to charge these businesses.

Liberty Times reports, some YouTubers and amateur artists who post edited videos online and gain burgeoning popularity are likely to violate the act, even though these videos have been edited and dubbed extensively. Wang says, however, if the works are not made to generate profits, oftentimes they are exempted from legal liability.

China Times reports, in the case of being unable to find copyright holders for works that are too old, a new amendment will allow users to put a security deposit first and use the works right away instead of waiting a long time for the government to complete the reviewing process.

Making revisions on copyright acts periodically to meet the rapid developments of the digital era is a worldwide trend. The United States Copyright Office holds a meeting to amend its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) every three years, and last year it established several new exemptions that allow users to jailbreak smart TVs and tablets without violating copyright protections.

Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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