Local art network to pay TWD300,000 to artist for copyright infringement
E170824Y3 | Sep. 2017（E214）
The renowned artist, LIU Kuo-Sung sued a Taiwan-based art portal and art network named 全球華人藝術網 (hereinafter the “Art Network”) for seeking damages over the Art Network’s continued use of LIU Kuo-Sung’s (“the artist”) works after the artist’s voluntary termination of the agreement with the Art Network in 2016, which agreement was signed by and between the artist and the Art Network in 2011 for authorizing the Art Network to sell the artist’s works.
According to the artist, the Art Network took advantage of the event of 2011 top 100 artists selection to deceive him into signing the agreement and also reproduced, adapted, distributed, and transmitted in public the artist’s works without his due authorization. On the other hand, the Art Network claimed that there was no description in the agreement relating to the event of 2011 top 100 artists selection and the artist knew about the Art Network’s publishing on their website and using in promotional events the artist’s works and the artist even cooperated to provide his works, which makes it clear that the artist agreed and understood the content of the agreement.
Judging from the agreement signed by and between the artist and the Art Network, the IP Court held that the artist indeed authorized the Art Network to sell his works and granted copyrights but the artist does not prove the alleged acts of fraud and coercion of Art Network. Even so, the Art Network should have stopped using the artist’s works after the artist issued a letter to terminate the agreement in 2016 and thus the Art Network had no rights to continue using the artist’s works upon receipt of the artist’s letter. Therefore, the IP Court decided that the Art Network and its responsible person should jointly and severally pay to the artist TWD300,000 in damages, run the gist of the IP Court judgment in local newspapers, and also remove the artist’s works from the Art Network’s website and from relevant websites (台灣百年藝術家傳記電子書 and 台灣百大水墨畫家). This case is appealable. (August 2017)