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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court


2014 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 99

Decision No. 2014 Xing Zhi Shang Yi Zi No. 99
Date April 30, 2015
Decision Highlight

The photo shots of the complainant’s product catalogs were designed by a group of witnesses A, B, C, and D. This fact is stated by the witnesses in the first trial. Witness C and D didn’t participate in the shooting, and Witness A stated that from mere conception to taking the photo, it took from 2004 to March 2009, and they used a digital camera to shoot the product catalog. In order to emphasize the appearance and application of the products, they placed products on green or black boards to prevent reflection, without extra lighting. In addition, they would draw curtains if it was too bright and add lights if it was too dark. Witness A himself participated in the entire process. To emphasize features and applications of products, they placed products on boards to prevent reflection. The composition, angle, light and how to shoot could only be decided by group meetings rather than one person. The group also needed to inquire customers through sales before shooting. The photos taken will be edited by typesetting company. If the results were not satisfactory, they will be edited again. The photo in this case was edited twice by the publisher. The editions were mostly about lights, color of background and third dimension. Witness B also stated that they would adjust the angle of the product’s placement to let customers identify the emphasis of the product easily. They would use wide-angle shooting when the product is big, so the shooting angle could include the product and the emphasis of the product, etc. According to the statements, although the disputed photos were shot by a point-and-shoot camera, the complainants still chose light, avoided reflection, adjusted angle, emphasized the points of the product, and edited the photos in the shooting process to present the characteristics of the product. These efforts could prove the originality by emphasizing the characteristics of the product. So the photos should be considered to possess originality and thus are photographic works, protected by the Copyright Act.


Photographic Works, Point-and-Shoot Camera

Relevant statutes Article 3 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 1, Article 5 Paragraph 1 Subparagraph 5 of the Copyright Act
  • Release Date:2020-11-13
  • Update:2020-12-03