Taiwan ups piracy penalties

Gov't to be proactive and prosecute violators

TAIPEI — After years of talking tough against piracy, Taiwan’s Legislature has radically revised a law protecting intellectual property rights on the island, doubling jail terms to seven years and upping fines to a maximum $230,500.

In a fundamental shift in the government’s approach, it will be able to prosecute violations rather than waiting for a third party to file suit.

This long and costly process may have discouraged victims from seeking legal redress, especially since convicted pirates usually got off with a minimal fine and no jail time.

The new law comes as a response to a U.S. decision earlier this year to again place Taiwan on its watch list of countries with rampant and unchecked piracy of intellectual property rights.

While distribs hail these changes, some are skeptical of the government’s willingness to enforce these laws.

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