The Intellectual Property Court rendered the 105-Min-Zhu-Su-5 Civil Decision on June 7, 2016 (the “Decision”) in which it held that the reproduction and public distribution of the entirety of the copyrighted content of others on an individualÕs website without any original content by such individual cannot be considered fair use.
The Plaintiff is a cardiovascular surgeon who has published many easy-to-understand articles about varicose veins in newspapers and magazines. The Plaintiff subsequently found that the ÒChun Hui Health SOHOÓ website owned by the Defendant have been publishing articles that were similar to the Plaintiff’Õs works published in the China Times, thus they appear to have been plagiarized, reproduced and slightly edited for uploading to the Defendant’s website for the general public to view. As this appears to be an infringement of the PlaintiffÕs reproduction and public transmission rights, a complaint was filed to seek damages and to request a public apology in newspapers.
In the Decision, since the Defendant appeared to reproduced and publicly transmitted the entire contents of the works at issue on the Chun Hui Health website without any original content on its own, the Defendant has failed to meet the requirements of Article 52 of the Copyright Act, which provides: “Within a reasonable scope, works that have been publicly released may be quoted where necessary for reports, comment, teaching, research, or other legitimate purposes.” In addition, unless otherwise stipulated in the Copyright Act, an author has the exclusive right to the reproduction and public transmission of his/her works, and the reproduction and uploading of the Plaintiff’s works at issue to the Defendant’s Chun Hui Health website without the Plaintiff’s permission is an infringement of such rights, thus the Court found that it was appropriate to order the Defendant to pay NT$10,000 as compensation for copyright infringement.