In the second round of international litigation over pornographic films, public prosecutors in Taipei on Monday decided not to file charges against Taiwanese media companies and Web site portals, saying that the plaintiff — a Japanese pornography producer — had failed to produce sufficient evidence.
The lawsuit was filed by Japanese adult video studio MAX-A president Wataru Ishii in 2010, which listed ELTA Technology Co (愛爾達科技) and 10 other Taiwanese media and online businesses as being in violation of Taiwan’s Copyright Act (著作權法).
Ishii traveled to Taiwan several times to testify during the investigation and at an earlier legal proceeding at the Intellectual Property Court in New Taipei City.
He said ELTA and other Taiwanese companies had illegally copied 232 of his films, then streamed them online or offered them for downloads, charging clients for the services.
Ishii sought royalty payments and copyright protection for his company’s films, saying that ELTA and the 10 other companies did not have permission from MAX-A to distribute and broadcast in Taiwan.
In his testimony, Ishii said that A-MAX films should be protected under the Copyright Act.
“For each of the films, our company had to hire directors, actors, photographers, lighting technicians, makeup artists and other professionals to complete the films. These films have originality, creativity, and unique aspects, and therefore they should enjoy copyright production in Taiwan,” Ishii said.
In the first round of litigation, public prosecutors decided that “creative works” referred to original works of literature, science, and the arts, which did not include pornographic films.
Prosecutors wrote that the productions listed by Ishii showed men and women in various sexual acts, qualifying them as pornographic films, and the high court had in precedent cases interpreted such films as not being covered by copyright protection, and therefore ELTA and other companies had not broken the law.
However, the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office requested the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to take up the case again, citing uncertainties in the legal interpretation on copyright for adult films.
In the second round of litigation, the prosecutors found ELTA had removed the films in question, and that MAX-A did not provide a complete recording of videographic evidence, and therefore decided to not to press charges.
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