First criminal ruling against an internet peer-to-peer service in Taiwan

October 2005

Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet

The IFPI, representing the international recording industry, has welcomed the conviction of Taiwan-based internet file-sharing service Kuro, in what is the first criminal conviction of a peer-to-peer (p2p) service in the world. A Taiwan court today convicted Kuro of criminal copyright infringement, imposing a fine of NT$3 million (approx US$90,000) and sentencing the three principals of Kuro, along with a user, to jail terms of up to three years. The judgement follows three other court rulings on file-sharing services – all within the past three months. The IFPI say that all four – the ruling against Kazaa in Australia (see abopve), the unanimous US Supreme Court ruling against Grokster, and the injunction against Soribada in Korea – establish there is no defence for file-sharing services that build their businesses on the back of unauthorised trading of copyrighted material. Lauri Rechardt, IFPI Taiwan has called upon Kuro to stop immediately the unauthorised file-sharing, to either close or make the necessary changes to allow the technology to be used legally. The Chen brothers, who ran the service, have been each sentenced to three years imprisonment; their father, who was president of Kuro, to two years; and the user – convicted of uploading copyrighted material onto the service – to four months. Kuro was established as a subscription peer-to-peer service, charging users for access to music files via the service. This was predominantly local repertoire, but nothing has been paid to the artists or the record labels who own the sound recordings.


See also the article “Hong Kong: Sale of Pirated DVDs by Foreigners in China – Criminal Act or Copyright Infringement” by Angela Wang & Co (Solicitors) at :

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