Taiwan Approves ‘Three-Strikes’ Copyright Law

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The island nation of Taiwan has approved new "three strikes" graduated response copyright legislation that also bans the use of peer-to-peer technology to exchange copyrighted works online.

The bill amends current copyright law in Taiwan, Billboard reports. Opponents claim it's murky and filled with gray areas, saying some businesses and individuals legitimately transfer copyrighted material, with permission, via P2P programs and sites.

Torrent sites are also targeted by the new measure and will likely be shut down, reports TorrentFreak.   

Internet service providers will not be held responsible for copyright infringement by customers under a DMCA-like "safe harbor" provision, but must implement the three-strikes response, whereby warnings are first issued and if violators continue through a third strike, their service will be terminated.

Violators will face lawsuits from rights holders. However, Taiwanese ISPs will not be allowed to pass on the personal information of alleged file-sharers to rights holders, though should the user want to be reconnected, then that same information can be provided to the accusers.

Other countries appearing to be on the verge of "three strikes" legislation include France, while Britain and Germany have tabled such proposals for now. UK Minister David Lammy said, "We do not believe that would be the right road to go down."

In related news, a court in Taiwan recently declared the file sharing application Foxy to be illegal and according to the Taipei Times, the company has also shut down.

The Foxy P2P program was very popular among Taiwanese users, especially college students, to the point where the company selling media players for files downloaded with its Foxy program. Prosecutors, in conjunction with major music and film companies, argued the Foxy file exchange website and the file-sharing program violated copyrights. The court case comes in the wake of other P2P lawsuits against programs Kuro and ezPeer in Taiwan. Kuro was convicted, but ezPeer was cleared of charges.