Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Maker of `Special Report' says VCD series is legal

POLITICAL FIGHT The lawyer representing the producer of the controversial series said the VCDs are legitimate and that the discs' director would soon reveal his identity

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawyer Johnson Chuang, representing the production company behind the Special Report VCD series, holds a copy of part I of the series, left, and two copies of Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's promotional VCDs, right, at a press conference yesterday. Chuang says the Taipei City Government's clampdown on the Special Report series is illegal.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

A lawyer representing the producers of the Special Report series of VCDs maintained the legality of the series yesterday, showing a license for the company behind the discs.

The lawyer, representing the production company Taiwan Media Revolution Production, showed the license in the name of Bi-sheng Broadcasting Ltd (必勝傳播公司) at a press conference yesterday.

"This company is registered with the Taipei City Government, as you can see here," Johnson Chuang (莊勝榮) said while holding a copy of the license.

"Furthermore, for the first two parts of the VCD, we have printed `Taiwan Media Revolution Production House' on each copy; therefore, the distribution of the VCD is legal," he said.

According to Chuang, the producer of the VCD, who is also the director of the production house, is Lu Tung-long (盧統隆). However, Chuang failed to identify Lu.

"Lu will reveal himself to the public [today]," Chuang said.

"I was told that copies of parts III and IV [of the series] have been confiscated by customs at the CKS International Airport," Chuang said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chung-mo (林重謨) said, "Taiwan Media Revolution Production House is the conscientious voice of our society, but has received threats from the mafia."

Lin also said the DPP has nothing to do with the VCD series.

Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), a DPP Taipei City councilor, said that neither the promotional VCDs distributed during People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong's (宋楚瑜) presidential campaign in 2000 nor the ones distributed during Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) election bid had registration labels printed on them.

"However, none of these VCDs were seized. Clearly, it's a case of double standards," Hsu said.

At the legislature yesterday, Lin questioned the Directorate General of Customs on whether parts III and IV of the series had been confiscated.

"There are four customs offices: in Taipei, Keelung, Taichung and Kaohsiung. So far, there have been no reports of VCD seizures," said Chung Huo-chen (鍾火成), director of the Directorate General of Customs.

Chung said that as VCDs involve patent rights, customs officers will make an extra effort to look for illegal VCDs.

"However, we did not add extra personnel to deal with the Special Report VCDs," Chung said.

Meanwhile, PFP Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday added Yao Fan-chi (姚繁基) and Lin Yi-fang (林一方), both directors with Taiwan's Voice, to the list of defendants in his libel lawsuit against the actors and alleged key individuals in the production of the series.

According to Chiu, Yao and Lin had assisted in the production of the VCD. The court will hold its first session on Chiu's lawsuit this morning.

According to Chuang, "[On Friday] morning, the producer of the VCD, Lu Tung-long, will file a libel lawsuit at the Taipei District Court against James Soong for calling the VCD `very despicable.'"

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