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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court


2013 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 31

Decision No. 2013 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 31
Date July 11, 2013
Decision Highlight

The criminal action of displaying a copy publicly with intent to distribute while knowing that it infringes economic right traditionally comes in the form which the infringer displays the infringing commodity directly on shelves. As new manners of trade emerge over time, trading goods through the Internet without the help of physical channels, which helps reduce rent and inventory cost, has become an important trend in the Era of Information. Therefore, the definitions in the Copyright Act regarding displays should not be limited in the traditional type; it should be adjusted based on its legislative intent in the scope of grammatical interpretation. Thus, when an infringer takes photos from one or different angles of the exterior or subtle design of the commodity which he intends to display, posting them on auction websites, making it available for unspecified persons to browse, the infringer has claimed for the works which he infringes, and the counterpart buyer can also identify the source of the commodity clearly. There is no difference between the result of this trading mode and the mode of displaying commodity in physical stores, both of them are “display” stated in Article 91-1 Paragraph 2 of the Copyright Act and should be regulated by the same law. The defendant posted no more than descriptive information as “Exclusive for PSP, Sega SEGA MD + Game ROM 1250” without images that could be used to identify the content of the attached game disc. Therefore, one cannot say that unspecified persons have been allowed to identify the source of the commodity clearly as displaying them on shelves when they browse the website. So whether the infringement has achieved the level of publicly displaying or not is still questionable. As a result, based on the presumption of innocence, it cannot be proven that the defendant’s act has constituted the fact of publicly displaying a copy with the intent to distribute.


Publicly Display, Physical Channel, Internet

Relevant statutes Article 91-1 Paragraph 2 of the Copyright Act Amended and Published on 2014, Sep, 1
  • Release Date:2020-11-13
  • Update:2020-12-03