The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office recently restated that as the recording of a song onto compact disc (CD) involves the reproduction of the work concerned, unless it complies with the definition of 'fair use' specified in the Copyright Act, the economic rights owner's prior consent or authorisation should be obtained; otherwise, such activity may be deemed to infringe the owner's right of reproduction.

The act provides that a work that has been publicly released may be reproduced to a reasonable extent by an individual or family, provided that this is done using a machine that is located in a library or one which is intended for public use. Thus, if a community choir chooses several songs and records these songs in a professional sound-recording studio, such activity does not comply with the definition of fair use provided by the act. In such circumstances, prior authorisation from the economic rights owner should be obtained. Otherwise, the party copying the songs onto CD risks infringing the economic right in the work concerned.

For further information on this topic please contact Cathy Ting at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 2715 3300), fax (+886 2 2713 3966) or email ([email protected]).