Sat, Mar 23, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Firms avoid prosecution over adult films

THE BARE FACTS:As pornography is not protected by the nation’s copyright laws, prosecutors chose not to indict firms profiting from the resale of Japanese-made films

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese prosecutors have said that Taiwanese firms that use Japanese-made pornographic films to make profits online have not violated Japanese producers’ copyrights.

The Taipei District Court Prosecutors’ Office therefore announced it will not press charges against Elta Technologies Co and 10 other Taiwanese firms that Japanese studios have accused of infringing their copyrights.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the prosecutors quoted Japanese complainants as saying they had hired directors, actors and actresses, make-up artists and other professionals to make the films which express the directors’ ideas and the actors’ particular talents and their films should enjoy the protection of Taiwanese laws governing intellectual property rights.

However, prosecutors argued that while Taiwan’s Supreme Court rulings recognize copyrights in works of literature, science and the arts, they do not do so for pornographic materials.

The prosecution said most of the films feature oral and other forms of sex — scenes that aim to arouse viewers’ desires — and so should be categorized as pornography.

Since pornographic films are not protected under the law, prosecutors said they could not find any evidence in support of the claim that the Taiwanese firms infringed upon the filmmakers’ copyrights.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors said that their investigation also showed that the Taiwanese firms posted warning signs and blocked minors from accessing their Web sites to view the films.

These precautionary steps showed that they had also not violated laws banning the distribution of obscene images and videos, prosecutors said.

In addition, the prosecutors decided not to indict the accused firms because the Japanese complainants have since dropped their cases against two of the 11 companies that charged Taiwanese customers to download their films.

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