Time to increase copyright protection

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Editorial

The Legislative Yuan on Monday passed a revised version of the Copyright Act that’s aimed at providing more legal protection for intellectual property rights. The amended law, which imposes heavy penalties for violations, should be more effective in preventing infringements. Under the newly revised law, those who reproduce copyrighted materials without authorization could face a prison term of up to five years.

The amendment has been made mainly as a response to demands from the United States that Taiwan do more to reduce illegal reproduction of copyrighted materials. But it will also serve to promote respect for intellectual property rights among our people. On the other hand, the revised law exempts reasonable use of copyrighted material from punishment, such as the reproduction of printed matter for educational purposes or use of information on Web sites for personal reference. The downloading of information from the Internet has been a controversial issue among legal experts. The law revised law states that those who obtain information from the Internet purely for their own personal use will not be punished. This is a rational rule, given the nature of the Internet and the role it plays in modern life.