The Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) version of the theme song from the movie adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables used at a rally in Taiwan has infringed on Warner Music Group’s copyright on the song, the company’s music production arm, Warner-Chappell Production Music, said on Thursday.
The song, titled Do you Hear the People Sing?, was adapted into Hoklo by a doctor at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Hsinchu’s department of psychology, Wu Yi-cheng (吳易澄), and musician Wang Hsi-wen (王希文).
It was used during a mass protest on Aug. 3 by about 200,000 people demanding that the military reveal the truth about the death of an army corporal who allegedly died from abuse while doing his military service. The protesters also called for the government to push for better protection of human rights in the military.
Wu said he had tried to ask Warner/Chappell for the rights to use the song, but did not get a reply.
Kang-khioh Tai-gi Bun-kau Ki-kim-hoe Foundation director-general Chen Feng-hui (陳豐惠) said the foundation helped with the Romanization of Wu’s lyrics.
He added that although the foundation had originally posted the sheet music for the song on its Web site earlier this month, it took it down after only one day, but left the music on the site.
After receiving a telephone call from Warner-Chappell on Thursday warning of copyright infringement, the foundation responded by immediately deleting the file from its servers, Chen said.
The foundation added that, after receiving the warning, it would not continue spreading the song.
The foundation received the legal notice on Friday, Chen said, adding that the foundation and its lawyers would decide on how to respond to the notice.
According to Warner-Chappell’s lawyer in Taiwan, Hsu Tse-yu (徐則鈺), his company was only handing the notification to the foundation on behalf of Alain Boublil Music Ltd, the original publisher of the song in 1980.
Commenting on the issue, a spokesman for Citizen 1985, surnamed Liu (柳), said that Warner-Chappell’s warning was directed at Wu and Wang, and should have nothing to do with Citizen 1985.
Liu added that the group had paid Warner-Chappell for the rights to use the song on Aug. 3, adding that the group had legally been allowed and entitled to play the music that day.
Meanwhile, according to the Intellectual Property Office’s copyright division chief Chang Yu-ying (張玉英), the case can be divided into two parts — the changing of the music and publishing it online.
Under Articles 44 through 65 of the Copyright Act (著作權法), the principle was that though modification of music or lyrics must first be consented to by the original copyright owner, if such consent cannot be obtained, then the modification should be judged by the standard of whether it was “usage within reason,” she said.
As far as altering the music was concerned, since the music was used on the day of the rally, it could be judged under Article 55 of the act that it was used in the public interest and was within the parameters of “usage within reason.”
As for spreading the music online, the matter had to be judged as to whether it was being used for commercial gain or in an attempt to profit from its distribution, Chang said.
She added that it could also be judged as to whether such distribution has violated the copyright by how the distribution has actually impacted the original copyright owner.
Additional reporting by Rachel Lin, Lin Shih-ping and Chang Yi-ling
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be