Taiwan’s pirate websites EzPeer & EzPeer+ indicted


Mumbai: On 6 October, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office announced the indictment of the local websites EzPeer and EzPeer+ for copyright infringement. Digital Global, the company operating the sites, as well as the company’s chairman and four staffers, were also indicted.

EzPeer was a popular website in Taiwan which allowed its users to exchange and download unauthorized music and movie files. Following the settlement of an earlier copyright infringement complaint in 2006, EzPeer was understood to have closed and been replaced by a new site, EzPeer+. However, the EzPeer site in fact remained active and continued to facilitate copyright infringement.

On 14 November 2006, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau raided EzPeer, which was then housed in the same offices of EzPeer+. The raid found that four servers located in EzPeer+’s office also hosted the operations of EzPeer. In addition, some EzPeer+ employees were found to be working for EzPeer. After lengthy investigations, on October 6, 2008, the Taipei District Prosecutor indicted both EzPeer and EzPeer+.

"The Taiwan authorities’ persistence in obtaining these indictments is to be commended and sends a strong signal that those seeking to profit by stealing others’ creative works cannot escape the law in Taiwan," said the Motion Picture Association (MPA) president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "As Internet piracy continues to grow, we hope to see such resolve as shown in Taiwan from the authorities in the rest of the region, which will go a long way in tackling this scourge."

In Taiwan, Internet piracy is of increasing concern. In 2007, the Taiwan Foundation Against Copyright Theft (TFACT) representing the MPA coordinated with local enforcement authorities to take action in respect of more than 300 online piracy cases. This number has already been exceeded in 2008. As at end-September 2008, there have been 320.