The Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs issued the Email-1031007 Circular of October 7, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Circular") to communicate that when an Internet service provider provides connection, caching, information storage and search services, it can assert grounds of immunity from joint infringement liabilities under Chapter VI-1 of the Copyright Law when certain preconditions are met. However, a cash flow service provider that provides collection and payment services for buyers and sellers of online transactions is not an Internet service provider and therefore cannot assert any immunity on such basis.
According to the Circular, the grounds of civil immunity for Internet service providers under Chapter VI-1 of the Copyright Law (Article 90-4 through Article 90-12) are stipulated to encourage Internet service providers (ISP) to work with copyright owners to jointly prevent infringement. Therefore, when an ISP provides four types of services (including connection, caching, information storage and search services), it can assert immunity from joint infringement liabilities for a user's use of its services to infringe copyrights when certain preconditions set forth in the provisions of such chapter are met.
However, this Circular further indicates that the four categories of services included in Chapter IV-1 of the Copyright Law are specifically defined under Article 3, Subparagraph 19 of the Copyright Law and include: (1) connection service providers (such as the provision of dial-up connection services); (2) caching service providers (such as the provision of intermediary or temporary information storage service as part of the connection service in order to quicken the information access of the service recipients); (3) information storage service providers (such as the provision of blog or online auction services); and (4) search service providers (such as search engines). Therefore, since a cash flow service provider that providers collection and payment services for buyers and sellers of online transactions does not provide such four categories of Internet services, it is not an Internet service provider and the immunity provisions under Article 90-4 through Article 90-12 of the same law are not applicable.