Tue, May 21, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Pingtung university pays artist NT$1m for emblem

By Lo Hsin-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Pingtung University president Ku Yuan-kuang, left, holds the design the university has been using for the past four years, while designer Yang Chia-chang, right, holds his original design in Pingtung County on Thursday.

Photo: Lo Hsin-chen, Taipei Times

National Pingtung University on Thursday paid designer Yang Chia-chang (楊佳璋) NT$1 million (US$31,862) for the right to use his design as the university’s emblem, ending a dispute in which the university was accused of using Yang’s work without his consent.

The settlement was signed by Yang, creative director of Hwat’s Design Co, and National Pingtung University president Ku Yuan-kuang (古源光), with an alumnus and a student representative as witnesses.

Yang donated the money to the the Pingtung County Intellectual Disability Association, the Pingtung County Dementia Association and the Pingtung County Christian Victory Home organization.

Ku apologized on behalf of the university, saying that it had inadvertently breached academic ethics, and thanked Yang for his understanding and patience.

“Yang’s decision to seek compensation from the university, but pledging to donate the funds to charity, paved the way to an amicable solution,” Ku said, adding that on March 11, he persuaded an extraordinary university affairs meeting to keep the emblem.

Ku also commended the efficiency of the Teachers’ Assessment Committee at the university for its handling of the investigation.

The incident should be recorded in the university’s annals as a warning for future administrative staff, he said.

Yang commended Ku’s handling of the situation.

“President Ku chose the difficult path and did not go ahead with a redesign of the emblem,” Yang said, adding that the university was right to own up to its mistake.

Yang said that he supported the university’s handling of the issue and viewed the incident as a learning experience.

The university in 2014 adopted the emblem without realizing that a professor surnamed Hsu (許) apparently plagiarized Yang’s creation, which had been designed for Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology.

The university said it is seeking the Ministry of Education’s approval to not renew Hsu’s contract.

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