Copyright Act proposal comes under fire

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Tue, May 28, 2013 - Page 13

A government proposal to amend the Copyright Act (著作權法) that would require local Internet service providers to block illegal content on foreign Web sites yesterday came under fire from a venture capitalist.

The proposed amendment by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) goes against the values of freedom and democracy, which Taiwanese hold in high regard, said Jamie Lin (林之晨), the founder of the venture capital firm appWorks Ventures (之初創投).

The 35-year-old Lin, who has incubated up to 150 mobile platform applications since 2009, made the remarks during a technology forum in Taipei.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Lin said. “The move seems like building a firewall to prevent local Internet users from seeing illegally uploaded content, but the content would still exist in servers overseas and can be viewed by foreign Internet users.”

Lin suggested that the government cooperate with Interpol to solve the problem.

The IPO said on Tuesday last week that the proposed amendment would help prevent copyright infringement. The amendment is expected to be sent to the legislature for review in the next session and it could come into effect next year if it is approved, the office said.

The government “needs to better understand the nature of the Internet before proposing or implementing improper policies,” he said.

“The Web belongs to Web site developers as well as visitors. Everyone should have freedom to access the Web,” he added.