Taiwanese Youtuber in hot water over alleged copyright infringement

2017/04/25 19:45:37 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
From www.facebook.com/amogood

From www.facebook.com/amogood

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) AmoGood (谷阿莫), a Taiwanese Youtuber and Internet celebrity known for his irreverent movie reviews, has found himself in legal hot water after being sued for copyright infringement.

Video streaming platform KKTV Co. and film company Autoai Design confirmed Monday that they have sued AmoGood for infringing on their intellectual property rights by using images from their films without notifying them in advance.

Yang Chih-kuang (楊志光), a KKTV executive, on Tuesday accused AmoGood of reproducing and spreading unauthorized content and for failing to give attribution when using images from the South Korean TV series "W," which is distributed in Taiwan by KKTV.

AmoGood has knowingly spread unauthorized content on Youtube, Facebook, Weibo and other online platforms, Yang said, but he declined to comment on the amount of damages sought, saying that the case has entered judicial proceedings.

Autoai Design, meanwhile, said AmoGood has illegally used images from at least four films it has distributed and has affected the box office of the films by making them sound boring.

AmoGood, whose Youtube channel has over 987,000 subscribers, produces short videos in which he narrates and sums up the plot of popular films, often in an offbeat and irreverent tone, along with videos showing scenes from the films.

In one video posted on his online outlets on Monday, AmoGood defended his videos, saying that he believes they do not violate the principle of fair use under the copyright law, which allows people to use copyrighted materials for commentary, research, news reporting and other purposes without having to obtain permission from the copyright holder.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said Tuesday that it has started an investigation into the matter and that police searched AmoGood's company April 19.

Chang Chung-hsin (章忠信), a scholar who specializes in intellectual property law, said that if AmoGood's short videos are intended to mock and ridicule the original film, then he has a better chance of arguing that his videos are in line with Article 52 of Taiwan's Copyright Act, which stipulates that within a reasonable scope, works may be quoted where necessary for comment or other legitimate purposes.

However, Chang said, if the videos are merely short film synopses, it will be harder for the Youtuber to claim fair use.

(By Christie Chen and Liu Shih-yi)
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