The Supreme Court rendered the 106-Tai-Shang-215 Civil Decision on January 19, 2017 the “Decision”) in which it held that the name or title of the author may be omitted only if the purpose and method of the use of the authorÕs work is unlikely to harm the authorÕs interests and do not violate generally accepted usage practices.
In this case, the appellant is a cardiologist who established a website for a clinic and published his works (the “Works “) on varicose veins on the website. The appellee reproduced and uploaded the Works on the website of the hospitals at issue and specified “Copyright (C), Taipei Rej Ji Institute, All Rights Reserved”. Therefore, a complaint was filed to seek damages pursuant to the Copyright Law.
Article 52 of the Copyright Law provides that sources must be clearly specified if the works of others are used, and Article 64 of the Copyright Law provides that other than for anonymous works or works by an unknown author, the name and title of the author shall be dealt with in a reasonable manner. In addition, Article 16, Paragraph 4 of the Copyright Law provides that the name or title of the author may be omitted only if the purpose and method of the use of the authorÕs work is unlikely to harm the authorÕs interests and do not violate generally accepted usage practices.
While the lower court thought the use falls within the scope of Article 52, once the appellee publicly transmitted parts of such works onto the hospital websites at issue without specifying the source or the appellantÕs name, it is no longer lawful. Further, the failure to identify the source of a work may even incur criminal liability under the Copyright Law, thus there is a real possibility that the copyright of those works and the right to be identified as the author have been infringed upon. As such, the lower courtÕs decision must be reversed and the case remanded.