Recording industry favors change to copyright law

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, May 29, 2013 - Page 14

The recording industry is in favor of a government plan to protect local productions by blocking foreign Web sites that infringe on copyrights, the Recording Industry Foundation in Taiwan said yesterday.

Foundation director Robin Lee (李瑞斌) said that local artists and other people in the music and movie industries support the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO’s) plan to amend the Copyright Act (著作權法) to block foreign Web sites that engage in “flagrant copyright violations.”

Many piracy Web sites are based overseas, which makes it difficult for local artists to file lawsuits or seek compensation, Lee said.

The IPO said on Tuesday last week that once the law is amended, it will ask local Internet service providers to block access to certain IP addresses and domain names.

Asked whether the IPO’s measures to protect intellectual property rights are sufficient and how it would identify Web sites that are in violation of copyright, IPO Deputy Director-General Lee Mei (李鎂) told a press conference yesterday that current regulations have a management mechanism in place for governing Web sites with servers in the country, but not for servers based overseas.

Lee said that the block would mainly be applied to Web sites that are in full violation of copyright and whose servers are in foreign countries, but not those that are only partially in violation of copyright, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google.

However, Cheng Kuo-wei (鄭國威), director of the Department of Media and International Cooperation of the Association of Digital Culture Taiwan, said that excessive expansion of intellectual property rights only protects outdated cultural and creative industries, while obstructing the development of emerging cultural businesses.

The IPO said it would hold hearings in the next few days to gather views from various sectors.