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.


The island of Taiwan was annexed by China in 1683, then ceded to Japan in 1895. The Republic of China (ROC) regained control in 1945 after Japan's defeat in World War II. In 1949 the government of the ROC fled to Taiwan from the mainland. 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.


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

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]

Copyright tags

COM:TAG Taiwan

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-exempt}} – for images 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.[3]
  • {{PD-ROC-Traffic Signs}} – for Taiwanese traffic signs from the website of the Institute of Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.[4]
  • {{PD-ROC-Traffic Markings}} – for Taiwanese traffic markings from the website of the Institute of Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.[4]
  • {{OGDL}} – for data owned by the central government of Republic of China (Taiwan) and offered for use and re-use under the Open Government Data License.
  • {{GWOIA}} – for information obtained from the government websites of 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.


COM:CUR Taiwan

See also: Commons:Currency

X mark.svg Not OK As documented in the OTRS ticket:2014050810011876, all New Taiwan Dollar bank notes 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.

However, the Central Bank of the Republic of China is a governmental institution and its data is allowed to be used by the public. According to the CBC website: "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)."[5]

It is Pictogram-voting-question.svg unclear if this extends to images of national currency.

Freedom of panorama

COM:FOP Taiwan

See also: Commons:Freedom of panorama

  • X mark.svg Not OK for indoor works and outdoor 2D artistic works
  • Symbol OK.svgOK for buildings, sculptures, and by extension other outdoor 3D works {{FoP-Taiwan}}
  • 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. Note that "reproduction" in this context means reproducing the work in its original form, thus photographs of buildings and outdoor sculptures are Symbol OK.svgOK.

Threshold of originality

COM:TOO Taiwan

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.[6]

The following examples are Symbol OK.svgOK:

  • These two artworks with traditional design elements are unprotected, according to court decisions that they do not meet the originality threshold for copyright protection:[7]
  • Simple typeface, such as the typeface of Sunshow company logo:

The following examples are X mark.svg Not OK:

  • Calligraphy works, such as the work "燒烤飯糰" on this photo, are copyright protected.[8]
  • 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.[9]

See also


  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. Presidential Office Gazette. National Central Library. Retrieved on 2019-03-24.
  4. a b Institute of Transportation, MOTC. Retrieved on 2019-03-24.
  5. Central Bank of the Republic of China
  6. 著作權基本概念篇-1~10 (Basic Concepts of Copyright-1~10). Intellectual Property Office. Retrieved on 2019-01-27.
  7. 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.
  8. the news article about this case's court ruling, and the full text of the ruling)
  9. [1][2]
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