Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Taiwan

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This page provides an overview of the copyright rules of Taiwan relevant to uploading works into Wikimedia Commons. Note that any work originating in Taiwan must be in the public domain, or available under a free license, in both Taiwan and the United States before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. If there is any doubt about the copyright status of a work from Taiwan, refer to the relevant laws for clarification.

Background

The island of Taiwan was annexed by China in 1683, then ceded to Japan in 1895. The Republic of China (ROC) occupied Taiwan in 1945 after Japan's defeat in World War II. In 1949, the government of the ROC fled to Taiwan from China. In 1971 the ROC lost its seat in the United Nations to the mainland People's Republic of China (PRC).

Taiwan copyright laws are codified in the Copyright Act as amended on 30 November 2016, in effect in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu.[1][2] A list of changes to copyright laws from 1928 is available at b:Annotated Republic of China Laws/Copyright Act.

Applicability

Works covered by copyright as listed at Article 5 are:[2016 Art.5]

  • Oral and literary works
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic and choreographic works
  • Artistic works
  • Photographic works
  • Pictorial and graphical works
  • Audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works
  • Computer programs

General

According to the Copyright Act as amended on 30 November 2016,

  • Generally, economic rights endure for the life of the author and 50 years after the author's death.[2016 Art.30]
  • Where a work is first publicly released between the 40th and 50th years after the author's death, the economic rights shall endure for a term of 10 years beginning from the time of the first public release.[2016 Art.30]
  • Economic rights in a joint work subsist for 50 years after the death of the last surviving author.[2016 Art.31]
  • Economic rights in a pseudonymous work or an anonymous work endure for 50 years from the time of public release; provided, the economic rights shall be extinguished where it can be proven that the author has been deceased for over 50 years. These provisions do not apply when the pseudonym of the author is well known to the public.[2016 Art.32]
  • Economic rights in works authored by a legal entity endure for 50 years after the public release of the work; provided, if the work is not publicly released within 50 years from the completion of the creation, the economic rights shall subsist for 50 years after completion of the creation.[2016 Art.33]
  • Economic rights for photographic works, audiovisual works, sound recordings, and performances endure for 50 years after the public release of the work. The proviso of the preceding article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the preceding paragraph.[2016 Art.34]
  • All the above terms of duration terminate as of the last day of the last year of the term.[2016 Art.35]

Not protected

Shortcut

See also: Commons:Unprotected works

According to the Copyright Act as amended on 30 November 2016, The following items shall not be the subject matter of copyright:[2016 Art.9]

  1. The constitution, acts, regulations, or official documents.
  2. Translations or compilations by central or local government agencies of works referred to in the preceding subparagraph.
  3. Slogans and common symbols, terms, formulas, numerical charts, forms, notebooks, or almanacs.
  4. Oral and literary works for news reports that are intended strictly to communicate facts.
  5. Test questions and alternative test questions from all kinds of examinations held pursuant to acts or regulations.

The term "official documents" in the first subparagraph of the preceding paragraph includes proclamations, text of speeches, news releases, and other documents prepared by civil servants in the course of carrying out their duties.[2016 Art.9]

Terms

Individual works

Date of author's death Date of publication Copyright tag
from 1 January 1895 until 31 December 1914
date QS:P,+1500-00-00T00:00:00Z/6,P580,+1895-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1914-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
until 31 December 1927
date QS:P,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/7,P582,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Japan-1899}}[3] + {{PD-old-auto-expired|deathyear=death year}}
from 1 January 1915
date QS:P,+1915-01-01T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1915-01-01T00:00:00Z/11
until 31 December 1927
date QS:P,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/7,P582,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-expired}} + {{PD-old-auto-expired|deathyear=death year}}
from 1 January 1915 until 31 December 1951
date QS:P,+1950-00-00T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1915-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1951-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
from 1 January 1928
date QS:P,+1928-01-01T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1928-01-01T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-1996}} + {{PD-old-auto-1996|country=Taiwan|deathyear=death year}}
Others The work is still protected under Taiwanese law and/or URAA.

Anonymous or pseudonymous works

Date of publication Copyright tag
from 1 January 1895 until 31 December 1914
date QS:P,+1500-00-00T00:00:00Z/6,P580,+1895-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1914-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Japan-1899}} + {{PD-anon-expired}}
from 1 January 1915 until 31 December 1927
date QS:P,+1950-00-00T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1915-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-expired}} + {{PD-anon-expired}}
from 1 January 1928 until 31 December 1951
date QS:P,+1950-00-00T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1928-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1951-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-1996}} + {{PD-anon-auto-1996|country=Taiwan|publication=year}}
Others The work is still protected under Taiwanese law and/or URAA.

Cooperative works

Date of publication Copyright tag
from 1 January 1895 until 31 December 1914
date QS:P,+1500-00-00T00:00:00Z/6,P580,+1895-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1914-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Japan-1899}} + {{PD-US-expired}}
from 1 January 1915 until 31 December 1927
date QS:P,+1950-00-00T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1915-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1927-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-expired}}
from 1 January 1928 until 31 December 1951
date QS:P,+1950-00-00T00:00:00Z/7,P580,+1928-01-01T00:00:00Z/11,P582,+1951-12-31T00:00:00Z/11
{{PD-Taiwan-1996}}
Others The work is still protected under Taiwanese law and/or URAA.

Old photographs

An old photograph of the Republic of China is in the public domain in both the Republic of China and the United States if it is one of the following:

  1. A photograph published before 1952.
  2. An anonymous photograph published before 2002 and whose author is certified dead before 1952.
  3. A non-anonymous photograph taken before 1952 and unpublished within 50 years of being taken, but published before 2002.
  4. A photograph not included in another work whose copyright term started before and continued to June 10, 1992 or not exclusively created for that work, and meeting one of the following conditions:
    • It's unregistered—taken before June 12, 1962 and published from July 12, 1965 until December 31, 2001.
    • It's registered—published before July 11, 1975, or taken before June 12, 1962 and published before 2002.
  5. A photograph meeting the conditions of {{PD-US-unpublished}}.

See this page for further explanation.

Copyright tags

See also: Commons:Copyright tags

  • {{PD-Taiwan}} – for images in the public domain according to the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  • {{PD-China}} – for images in the public domain according to the People's Republic of China (mainland) and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  • {{PD-China-film}} – for movies or images from movies published in the China more than 50 years ago according to Mainland China and Taiwan.
  • {{PD-ROC-oldphoto}} – for old photographs in the public domain.
  • {{PD-ROC-exempt}} – for files in the public domain according to the Republic of China for free of copyright.
  • {{PD-ROC-official}} – for the attachments of the laws of the Republic of China from the website of the Legislative Yuan law system.
  • {{PD-ROC-Presidential Office Gazette}} – for the Presidential Office Gazette from 20 May 1948 to present by the Presidential Office of the Republic of China.[4]
  • {{PD-ROC-Traffic Signs}} – for Taiwanese traffic signs from the website of the Institute of Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.[5]
  • {{PD-ROC-Traffic Markings}} – for Taiwanese traffic markings from the website of the Institute of Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.[5]
  • {{OGDL}} – for data released by government agency, government-owned business, public school and administrative legal entity and offered for use and re-use under the Open Government Data License, version 1.0.
  • {{GWOIA}} – for information obtained from the websites of government agency, government-owned business, public school and administrative legal entity in Taiwan that includes the Government Website Open Information Announcement.

See also Commons:Copyright rules by territory/China:Copyright tags for works before and after 1949.

Currency

See also: Commons:Currency

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK for all New Taiwan Dollar, both banknotes and coins, per Commons:Deletion requests/NTD banknotes.

As explained by VRT ticket 2014050810011876, all NTDs are protected by copyright under the Copyright Act of Taiwan. The copyright holder is the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan):

In response to the enquiry in your e-mail dated April 27, 2014, please be noted that the images of our national currency are strictly under the protection of the Copyright Act of Taiwan. That means all the pictures on the NTD banknotes are not allowed to be exhibited on any commercial websites without our permission in advance.

For several years, some users claimed that {{GWOIA}} may apply to them, based on CBC's Government Website Open Data Announcement:[6]

I. In order to facilitate better utilization by the general public of the information on this website, all of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan)(herein known as CBC)’s publicly posted information and materials that are protected under copyright provisions may be utilized by the public without cost in a non-exclusive, reauthorization-available manner. The users may, without restriction on time and place, reproduce, adapt, edit, publicly transmit, or utilize in other ways, and develop various products or services (herein known as derivations). This authorization will not be retracted hereafter, and the users do not have to acquire any written or other types of authorization from the CBC. However, when using it, the users should acknowledge the source.

This is also not true as per another VRT ticket 2020051710002624, to which a CBC officer said that their GWOIA can only apply to their policy texts and photos made for hire that are photographed by their employees, and can't apply to any currency samples.

Please also note that there are several artworks and photograph works on currencies, they are all copyrighted, in Taiwan as per the copyright note, and in the United States as per URAA.

Symbol unsupport vote.svg Inconclusive For Old Taiwan Dollars, their copyright terms should be treated case by case.

De minimis

Public space and artistic works

Commercial freedom of panorama is not allowed in Taiwan for copyrighted works of art (non-architecture). A de minimis standard was set by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office regarding photographs that may show copyrighted monuments and murals of Taiwan:

(2) As to whether the photographing of outdoor graffiti (artistic works) and print it in postcards for sale constitute the situation of "reproduction of artistic works for the purpose of selling reproductions" in paragraph 4 of Article 58 of the Law, in principle, if a specific artistic work is taken as the "theme" or the "focus", and the photos are printed in postcards for sale, it should be the situation of paragraph 4 of Article 58, one shall not claim fair use in accordance with this article; However, if such artistic works are used as the background for portrait photos or other landscape photos, and such art works are "attached" to the photos (not the focus of photo), there is a space for fair use in accordance with Paragraph 4 of Article 58 of the Law. As for the situation of fair use in accordance with Article 58 of the Law mentioned in the Vol.192 (p.77) of TIPO's monthly magazine, it is only limited to the above-mentioned "incidental use" of outdoor artistic works.

— Excerpt of English translation of Email No.1111122

Note that in the context of Taiwanese copyright law, fair use is not "fair use" in the American context but is a synonym for a copyright limitation. Freedom of panorama and de minimis are considered as types of fair uses in Taiwan.

Freedom of panorama

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

  • OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK for buildings only {{FoP-Taiwan}}
  • OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK for artistic works (sculptures, murals, and other non-architecture)

The "Copyright Act" (1992-2016-present) Article 58 states that:

Artistic works or architectural works displayed on a long-term basis on streets, in parks, on outside walls of buildings, or other outdoor locales open to the public, may be exploited by any means except under the following circumstances:
  1. Reproduction of a building by construction of another building.
  2. Reproduction of a work of sculpture by production of another sculpture.
  3. Reproduction for the purpose of long-term public display in locales specified in this article.
  4. Reproduction of artistic works solely for the purpose of selling copies.

Reproductions of artistic works are thus only for non-commercial purposes; therefore, such photographs are not free enough for Commons: OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK.

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office upheld this exact and restrictive perspective on freedom of panorama in their two correspondences which are accessible online: Email No.1111122 and Email No.1111230. This not only replaces some inconsistent interpretations in the past which Wikimedia Commons accepted in 2018 (for 3D public art) and in 2020 (for 2D public art), but also reinstated the original standpoint of Wikimedia Commons regarding the Taiwanese freedom of panorama.

Also, Article 64 states that:

  • Who uses other people's works according to Article 44 to 47, Article 48 to Article 50, Article 52, Article 53, Article 55, Article 57, Article 58, and Articles 60 to 63, shall clearly indicate their origin.
  • The source of the explicit source in the preceding paragraph shall be used in a reasonable manner except for those whose name is unknown or whose works are unknown.

See also these related discussions: in October 2021 and in January 2023.

Threshold of originality

See also: Commons:Threshold of originality

The level required for copyright is low. Independently created works with "minimal creativity" are eligible, according to Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office.[7]

The following examples are OOjs UI icon check-constructive.svg OK:

  • These two artworks with traditional design elements are unprotected, according to court decisions that they do not meet the originality threshold for copyright protection:[8]
  • Simple typeface, such as the typeface of Sunshow company logo:

The following examples are OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK:

  • Calligraphy works, including:
    • "燒烤飯糰" on this photo, is copyright protected ruled by a court.[9][10]
    • "風月堂" (see the last page of the PDF document for the work in question).[11]
  • The graphic part of Sunshow company's logo. The court ruled that the graphic part of the logo: two hands clasped together, one over the other, is copyrightable, but the typeface "SUNSHOW" is not.[12]
  • The Louis Vuitton Monogram Multicolor pattern [1][13].

Signatures

See also: Commons:When to use the PD-signature tag

OOjs UI icon close-ltr-destructive.svg Not OK: This government regulation (archived from original) lists handwriting and calligraphy as examples of artistic works that are subject to copyright protection.

Stamps

See also: Commons:Stamps

Copyrighted According to the TIPO[14], stamps are considered as normal copyrighted artworks, not government works. Old stamps can be public domain following the #Terms section above.

See also

Citations

  1. Copyright Act. Taiwan (2016). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  2. 著作權法 (Copyright Act) (in Chinese). Taiwan (2016). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  3. Intellectual Property Office (2018-07-09). 電子郵件1070709.
  4. Presidential Office Gazette. National Central Library. Retrieved on 2019-03-24.
  5. a b Institute of Transportation, MOTC. Retrieved on 2019-03-24.
  6. 政府網站資料開放宣告. Retrieved on 2021-01-17.
  7. 智著字第09700078680號. Intellectual Property Office.
  8. 智慧財產法院107年民著上字第3號民事判決 (in Chinese). Judicial Yuan of the Republic of China. Retrieved on 2019-09-27.
  9. 鄧玉瑩 (2007-01-05). "盜用燒烤飯糰招牌判侵權". Apple Daily.
  10. 臺灣高等法院臺中分院95年上易字第1083號刑事判決 (2006-09-27).
  11. 智慧財產法院108年民著訴字第89號民事判決 (2020-01-13). Archived from the original on 2020-06-29.
  12. 智慧財產法院104年民著上易字第11號民事判決 (2016-02-04).
  13. 智慧財產法院108年民商上字第5號民事判決 (2020-01-16).
  14. 電子郵件920523. TIPO (2003-05-23).
Caution: The above description may be inaccurate, incomplete and/or out of date, so must be treated with caution. Before you upload a file to Wikimedia Commons you should ensure it may be used freely. See also: Commons:General disclaimer