Taiwan file-sharing website indicted for copyright infringement

MUMBAI: The Pan-Chiao District Prosecutors office has indicted the company operating local file-sharing website Foxy and one person, suspected of being the owner and operator of the site, of violations of Taiwan’s Copyright Law.

Prosecutors estimated that Foxy’s operation caused approximately $5.2 million in losses to rights holders.

The indictments follow raids by Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Rights Police in 2007 and 2008 against both Foxy and a publishing company believed to be related to Foxy. The Foxy software resides in users computers and, similar to Winny software in Japan, can cause problems with information being inadvertently shared by users.

Such was the concern over this system that Taiwan’s Government has prohibited the installation of Foxy software on Government computers. Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has also banned the use of the software on the academic network, TANet, used by students across the country.

"These indictments against Foxy are proof of the value Taiwan places on intellectual property rights and the great effort the country will go to ensure they are protected. We look forward to more indictments as these will serve to deter such operators as well as send a clear message across that illegal file sharing will not be tolerated in Taiwan," "said Motion Picture Association (MPA) president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Mike Ellis.

Taiwan’s Foundation Against Copyright Theft (TFACT) represents the MPA in Taiwan. TFACT executive director Spencer Yang said, "We thank the authorities for their efforts in taking down this website and sending a strong signal to those who use it as a tool for piracy. For sure, content owners and creators in Taiwan are greatly encouraged by the fact that action is being taken against those who try to steal their work."

In Taiwan, Internet piracy remains a key concern for rights holders. In 2008, TFACT coordinated with local enforcement authorities to take action in regard to more than 423 online piracy cases.

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