Taiwan Copyright

Taiwan Copyright


What is a copyright? What does it protect?
Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. Copyright is a form of intellectual property law which protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.


What are the benefits of registering a copyright?
In Taiwan where Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic and need not be obtained through official registration with the government office. Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created. However, registration is recommended for a number of reasons. You may choose to register your works give public notice of your copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in successful litigation.


How much does it cost?
The basic government registration fees for Taiwan copyright are listed below.

Items Taiwan Dollar NTD$
Taiwan Copyright Registration $3,800
Compulsory License of Musical Works $3,000
Examination Fee for Copyright Registration
  • Searches of copyright office records: $50/each registration number
  • Recordation of documents: $100/each
  • Copies of copyright office records: $100/each


What types of material can be copyrighted in Taiwan?
In order to qualify for copyright, a work must meet minimal standards of originality. Copyright law recognizes the right of an author based on whether the work actually is an original creation, rather than based on whether it is unique. In Taiwan, copyright applies to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms. According to the Act 5 of Taiwan Copyright Law, the types of materials can be copyrighted include literary works, musical compositions, sound recordings, choreography, motion pictures, artistic forms such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, architecture, and computer software.


What is the general Taiwan copyright application process?
To register a work, submit a completed application form, and an original work as well as a nonreturnable copy or copies of the work to be registered. A copyright application establishes the basic facts of a claim: the title of the work, the author of the work, the name and address of the claimant or owner of the copyright, the year of the work published. Once submitted to the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO), the application becomes part of the public record and can be viewed by the public upon request. After you submit the fee, TIPO shall start the registration process and respond to your applications. If the Copyright Office needs more information, a staff member will contact you by email or by telephone. If the Office determines that the work cannot be registered, you will receive a letter explaining why your claim has been refused. If the Office registers your work, you will receive a certificate of registration in the mail. TIPO shall file your certificate of registration in the database for public use onwards.


How long does it take to apply for a Taiwan copyright?
The Copyright Office’s processing times vary based on a number of factors, including the type of application, how difficult a claim is to review, whether the Copyright Office needs to correspond with an applicant, and the number of registration specialists available to review claims. The average processing time for the basic copyright registration is 14 days from the time the application is submitted. It takes 2 months for processing the application of Compulsory License of Musical Works. The above processing times exclude the time for correction, defense, or suspension due to any other matters.


How long does the copyright last?
Copyright subsists for a variety of lengths in different jurisdictions. The length of the term can depend on several factors, including the type of work, whether the work has been published, and whether the work was created by an individual or a corporation. In Taiwan, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus 50 years.
Except as otherwise provided in this Act 30 of the Taiwan Copyright Law, economic rights endure for the life of the author and 50 years after the author’s death. Where a work is first publicly released between the 40th and 50th years after the author’s death, the economic rights shall endure for a term of 10 years beginning from the time of the first public release. If the work is a joint work with multiple authors, the terms last for 50 years after the last surviving author’s death. If it is a pseudonymous work or an anonymous work, the copyright endures for 50 years from the time of public release; provided, the term shall be extinguished where it can be proven that the author has been deceased for over 50 years.


What information does the client have to provide?
In order to apply for a Taiwan copyright registration, the applicant must provide the information below.


Copyright Representation

  • The name of the published work
  • The name of the original work
  • Author’s name or title
  • Type of work: literary or artistic works. Unit and quantity should be specified.
  • The publisher name or title
  • The publication date


Appointment of Power of Attorney

  • An applicant needs to file in the power of attorney as the representative of the copyright registration if applicable.


Applicant (shall be the same as the publisher)

  • Applicant name and signature
  • Date of birth (or the date of incorporation)
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number/mobile number
  • Email address


Power of Attorney (if applicable)

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number/mobile number
  • Email address


Government Fee

  • Total of NTD $3,800



  • A document indicating that the published work has no copyright. For those who do not have the above-mentioned supporting documents, the applicant shall provide a declaration document specifying that the published work has no copyright.
  • The original work
  • Detailed instructions on the publishing process.
  • A sample of the published work. The sample should list the author’s name.


What type of copyright works should be provided?
Besides an affidavit letter stating that the published work has no copyright, an applicant shall provide the original literature or artistic work previously published. If the original work is too large, vulnerable, costly, or any other circumstances to provide, you can apply to the Copyright Office for an exemption or replace with a detailed proposal of the original artwork including four, five, or six dimensional photography or other alternatives. The sample of the publication should include the information below.

  • The name of the original work being published
  • Author’s name
  • Publisher’s name or title
  • The publication date


What forms should be filled out?
You will need to fill out the copyright application form. If you hire an attorney or other agent as your representative, you will have to fill out the power of attorney with your signature.


How does the client search for existing copyrights?
Bear in mind, copyright is an automatic legal right that is under copyright protection the moment it is created. As a result, you will not be able to search copyrights thoroughly. However, the Copyright Office can provide you with the information available in their records. A search of registrations, renewals, and recorded transfers of ownership made can be found in their files. Upon request, the Copyright Office will provide a search of their records at the rate of NT$50 for each registration number.
Additionally, according to the provisions of the Copyright Law, an author owns the right to reproduce, perform in public, broadcast, or transmit, unless it qualifies under “fair use”. In principle, all users must obtain a license from the copyright owner for legal use. The TIPO provides a few resources for the public to search existing music or recording copyrights.


More details regarding copyright licensing can be found at the TIPO website.



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