Premier Su Called Off Copyright Act Amendment|政院擬修著作權法引反彈 蘇揆決中止

Over one thousand residents and members of a local singers' association protested outside the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office. They're upset that certain Karaoke shop owners monopolized the market by having the exclusive rights of hit songs. Now Premier Su Tseng-chang has decided to call off the amendment to the Copyright Act and will not proceed with any further action until they have taken opinions from all sides into account.

Many wonders if members of the public sings the song played from a Karaoke machine constitutes a violation of copy right laws. Over a thousand residents and member of a local singers' association protested outside the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office for granting certain Karaoke shop owners the exclusive rights to hit songs. The protestors said the act effectively give those owners a monopoly since it blocks other karaoke shop owners from having access to those songs. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) recent proposed to amend the Copyright Act by adding an article that mandates all musicians to authorize the copyright of their music. The proposal has proven highly controversial. Premier Su Tseng-chang announced on June 24 that he has called off the amendment in an effort to protect the right of creative talents.

This is a big defeat. Certain interest groups are putting on pressure to (prevent the amendment). The article on the musicians releasing their copyrights simply allows them another channel to generate revenue, it does not affect the formal channel through which they can authorize their copyrights. Their rights are not affected.

The convener of the movement against monopoly in music, Lin Chia-kai, is also a Karaoke shop owner. He said that the nature of the movement has been misconstrued and smeared.

He said some believe the Karaoke owners are trying to get copyrights to music for free. However, Lin said, the mandatory release of the music's copyright would be a legal channel through which the song writer gets paid even more for their work, and this would also help curb monopoly ownership in the music industry. However, the Music Publishers Association of Chinese Taipei and other musicians do not agree with such opinion.

Who decides the amount of compensation for musicians? We should let the songwriters decide that, because they are the ones who do the work and create the music. It doesn't matter if we offer them NT$2,000, NT$20,000 or even NT$200,000 for their music, they should still have the right to decide (whether to sell their work). If we talk about those who sell clothes, bread or other commodities, can we just force them to sell their products?

We don't just disagree, we are resolutely against the proposal that mandates musicians to release the right to their work. We should just delete Article 69 in the Copyright Act, because we don't need that, and the article leaves room for exploitation.

The group behind the movement against the monopoly ownership of music rights said that they will hold meetings with residents across Taiwan and will voice their cause to the Executive Yuan again. Vice-Premier Chen Chih-mai said that he will communicate with industry professionals and he has set up a special team on the task. He has also asked the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office to set up a channel of communication which allows Karaoke shop owners to get in touch with music creators directly if needed.

民眾在公園或里民活動中心,使用伴唱機快 樂唱歌,可能涉及違反著作權法嗎?日前上千名里民與歌唱協會,前往經濟部智慧財產局抗議,控訴市面上多首熱門歌曲,遭特定伴唱機業者壟斷,導致其他業者無法取得授權,形成市場壟斷。民進黨立院黨團提案修著作權法,增訂"強制授權"條款解套,不過,卻引發爭議,行政院長蘇貞昌24號宣布,基於保護創作,決定中止強制授權修法。

反壟斷歌曲抗議發起人 林嘉愷表示:「很大的一個挫敗,完全是既得利益團體,這樣子的施壓,強制授權只是他(創作人),多收錢的另外一個管道,他不影響到他正常的授權,他不會影響到他的權利。」
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