TIPO offers free copyright holder search notice publication service to promote use of orphan works
Since October 2020, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has been offering a free copyright holder search notice publication service, which makes it easier for applicants to meet licence requirements. They can easily make a public announcement by emailing the necessary information to TIPO, which will then post the information online for 30 days.
An orphan work is a copyrighted work that has an unknown author. Article 24 of the Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries Act states that licences for such works can be obtained through TIPO.
TIPO can grant a licence for an orphan work if:
- the applicant has made its best effort but has failed to obtain valid authorisation from the copyright holder as the identity or the location of the copyright holder is unknown;
- the applicant has clarified the reason for its failure to obtain valid authorisation to the copyright competent authority; and
- TIPO has confirmed that retrieving this information is not possible.
An applicant stands the highest chance of obtaining a licence for an orphan work if:
- it has inquired as to the name and other related information of the copyright holder with related copyright organisations or agencies, which then either state that the information cannot be ascertained or give no response after 30 days of receiving the request; or
- it has advertised or used other appropriate methods – such as a public announcement – to search for the copyright holder but has received no response after 30 days from the date that the advertisement or public announcement was made. The advertisement or the public announcement must include:
- the applicant’s name and date of birth (or date of the entity’s establishment);
- the applicant’s domicile or residence;
- information on the orphan work (ie, type, name, and content of the work to be used, and the name or entity name of the economic rights holder and the author of the work – the names of the economic rights holder and the author need not be provided if unknown).
Further, applicants should refer to Article 3 of the Regulations Governing the Application for Approval of Licence of Works of Unknown Owner of Copyrights and Royalties for Use Thereof.
There have only been 36 applications for licensing the orphan works since the launch of this service, 21 of which have been approved. The service allows applicants to meet the necessary regulatory requirements in a much more convenient and efficient way, and it is hoped that more and more orphan work licensing cases will appear in Taiwan as a result of TIPO’s latest move.
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