Ministry of Culture investigating company for alleged fraud

2018/02/23 19:05:42 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君/CNA file photo)

Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君/CNA file photo)

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Artlib, a Taiwanese platform for ethnic Chinese art, is being investigated for alleged cases of fraud and violations of individual artists' rights, according to a statement issued Friday by the Ministry of Culture (MOC).

Artlib has applied for funding from the ministry on different occasions -- in 2011, 2015 and 2016 -- to put together collections of art works by ethnic Chinese artists.

Having secured the funding, the company would ask artists to sign over rights to their works, seemingly for the purposes of the collections, while using the name of the Ministry of Culture as if Artlib were working on its behalf.

The contracts included provisions that as much as 40 percent of future earnings from the works would go to the company, some artists have said, but some of them still signed the agreements because of their lack of a legal background.

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) gathered artists, unions and other associations earlier Wednesday to deal with Artlib's alleged transgressions, according to the statement, which quoted her as saying she was going to "get to the bottom of it."

Cheng has decided on a five-step course of action, starting with increasing the number of people dedicated to the task force for this investigation, the statement said.

She also intends to create a reporting window for victims of Artlib's alleged scams, turn the case over to judicial authorities to investigate, help victims take legal action against the company, and create a system for protecting artists' rights and punishing such infringements.

The ministry is also contemplating asking Artlib to return the funding it has previously received, the statement said.

(By Cheng Jing-wen and Kuan-lin Liu)

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