The public who wish to legally use works created by unknown authors (as known as the “Orphan Work”) may file their application with the competent authority (and also TIPO) in accordance with Paragraph 1,Article 24 of the Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries Act in Taiwan. The related application procedure and calculation method of exploitation in place were stipulated under the Regulation Governing Application for Approval of License of Works of unknown Owner of Copyrights and Royalties for Use Thereof , effective on September 24th, 2010.
However, in recent years, the competent authority has often received complaints by the applicants about difficult and long-winded procedures, such as limited channels available for the public to find out specific copyright information or trustworthy publishers, overlong latency etc.. The current procedures have not only caused troubles and obstructed the circulation and exploitation of Orphan Works, but also sabotaged the good intention of the government, which was meant to encourage the development of the cultural and creative industries.
To resolve the above mentioned issues, on March 11th, 2021, the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan announced amendments to Article 3 of the Regulation Governing Application for Approval of License of Works of unknown Owner of Copyrights and Royalties for Use Thereof, there are three main amendments:
- By public search for copyrights owner of Orphan Works, the mandatory waiting period has been shortened from 30 days to 10 days.
- An announcement to search publicly for copyrights owner can now be placed on the website of TIPO.
- The name of work needs not be provided if unknown.
TIPO has stated that since the applications for licensing of Orphan Works has increased guadually, the office has drawn on provisions in the South Korean and Japanese systems to simplify and amend related procedures, by which more helpful to the circulation and use of Orphan Works and more prospering development of cultural and creative industries may be expected.