Parties wishing to obtain licences for musical works – for purposes such as playing music on business premises, holding concerts or broadcasting – often face difficulties when trying to locate individual composers and negotiate licensing issues. To address this issue, article 81(1) and (2) of the Copyright Act stipulates that economic copyright holders and their exclusive licensees may, with the approval of the specialised agency in charge of copyright matters (namely, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO)), establish copyright collective management organisations (CMOs) for the purpose of exercising rights or collecting and distributing compensation for use. Many composers entrust the administration of their work to CMOs to streamline negotiations and the acquisition of desired authorisation.

Currently, CMOs administering musical works, sound recordings and musical works in Taiwan include:

  • the Music Copyright Society of Chinese Taipei;
  • the Asia-Pacific Music Collective Management Association;
  • the Taiwan Music Collective Management Association;
  • the Association of Recording Copyright Owners of Taiwan; and
  • the Recording Copyright and Publications Administrative Society of Chinese Taipei.

Potential exploiters may consult with these CMOs with respect to various licensing requirements relating to public performance, broadcast and transmission of musical works, among other things.

CMOs are governed by the Copyright Collective Management Organisation Act (the CMO Act), formerly known as the Copyright Intermediary Organization Act. The CMO Act was formulated and published on 5 November 1997, and later amended and published on 10 February 2010. With the aim of addressing certain residual drawbacks and problems in practical application, another round of draft amendments to the CMO Act passed a third reading in the Legislative Yuan on 29 April 2022. The amendments seek to improve the operation of CMOs in Taiwan and thus protect the rights of the members of CMOs and enhance the circulation of their works.

Highlights of the amendments include:

  • the introduction of a public consultation mechanism;
  • the addition of the term of office and the re-election restrictions for directors and supervisors of CMOs, and the establishment of internal control system specifications for personnel, finance, business and other matters;
  • the expansion of the TIPO's responsibility to guide CMOs' use of innovative technology to enhance management efficiency and reduce exploitation costs; and
  • the addition of guidance and penalties by the TIPO when CMOs violate laws and regulations.

The official provisions to be implemented will be subject to announcement by presidential decree.

For further information on this topic please contact Shih-I Wu at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 2763 8000) or email ([email protected]). The Lee and Li Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at