2012 Xing Zhi Shang Su Zi 47
|Decision No.||2012 Xing Chi Shang Su Zi 47|
|Date||September 13, 2012|
As stipulated in Article 59-1 of the Copyright Act, “a person who has obtained ownership of the original of a work or a lawful copy thereof within the territory under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China may distribute it by means of transfer of ownership.” This article regulates the “First Sales Doctrine” (also named “Exhaustion Doctrine” according to academic theories) of the “Right To Distribute” (Article 28-1 of the Copyright Act), which means that the power to control whether and how to distribute a work will be forfeited whenever a copyright owner sold her/his work or transferred her/his ownership thereof. That is, the copyright owner’s right to distribute the original of the work and the lawful copy thereof has been exhausted when her/his ownership was sold or transferred for the first time, and therefore, when the person who obtained the original of the work and the lawful copy thereof sold or transferred the ownership again, the original copyright owner cannot claim her/his right to distribute against this person. As a result, a person who obtained the original of the work and the lawful copy thereof enjoys a complete right to freely dispose the lawful copy of the work, and the major purpose thereof is to restrain the right for the copyright owner to distribute to a certain degree, so as to prevent the circulation of information from becoming difficult due to unrighteous exploitation of the copyright by the copyright owner to control the distribution or circulation of the work. Accordingly, the copyright owner lost her/his right to control the distribution of the copy of the work when she/he enforced her/his copyright and received payment for the first time. The international copyright jurisdictions has divided the “Exhaustion Doctrine” into “International Exhaustion Doctrine,” “Regional Exhaustion Doctrine” and “Domestic Exhaustion Doctrine.” Because the law of Article 59-1 of our Copyright Act adopts the “Domestic Exhaustion Doctrine,” that is to say that a proprietor, who has legitimately obtained the original of a work or a lawful copy thereof domestically, may assert that the copyright owner’s right to distribute has been exhausted, it is therefore that such proprietor’s sale or distribution to the public constitutes non-infringement upon the right to distribute.
|Relevant statutes||Article 91, Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Copyright Act|
- Release Date:2020-11-13