After Public Outcry, Taiwan Backs Off For SOPA Like Censorship

After public outcry and voices on online as well as offline Taiwan cancel it's amendment to its Copyright Act, a proposal that is similar to the United States Bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Freedom on the Internet is a far fetched idea but citizens are not giving up easily either. Recently we had shared that the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had proposed an amendment to its Copyright Act, a proposal that is similar to the United States Bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The good news is that Taiwan has temporarily stopped the bill.

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The news that was reported by Focus Taiwan states that the Wang Mei-hua, head of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, announced the decision and said the office’s plans would be adjusted. He emphasized that the government had no intentions to restrict the freedom of speech and freedom of access to information.

The government initially claimed that the amendment is to stop the illegal sharing of copyright movies and music. Furthermore the government had clarified that Internet service providers would be blocking portals which are “specifically designed for copyright infringement activities” or websites which have “obviously violated copyrights.” Sites like Megaupload and peer to peer file sharing or torrent sites like Bit Torrent, etc. will be targeted by the service providers in Taiwan.

But, the new amendment has not gone down well with the believers of open society in Taiwan. Wikimedia Taiwan, a non-profit social group, voiced strong opposition on June 1 to the plan that was indicative of mass censorship of online content. Besides this the concerned citizens of Taiwan have started a social media initiative on Facebook by organizing a Facebook event.

Though the plan of the proposed amendment has been abandoned but the office still intends to discuss with judicial agencies possible measures that can offer better protection to intellectual property holders. But for now the citizens of Taiwan can find some respite from the amendment that mirrored SOPA and PIPA in its vague language.

Image courtesy: www.asianinvestor.net