Taiwan follows the principle of copyright protection upon creation. A creator enjoys copyrights as soon as a work is completed. Copyright registration is not a prerequisite for obtaining copyright. In other words, no formal application is necessary to obtain copyright. In fact, the copyright registration system was abolished in a copyright act amendment promulgated on January 21, 1998, and the government agency in charge of copyright matters has ceased accepting copyright registrations since January 23, 1998.
Taiwan became a member of the world trade organization (WTO on January 1, 2002. under the WTO's agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS), member countries are obligated to protect works of the nationals of other members. Therefore, works of Taiwanese nationals are entitled to protection in all other WTO member countries. However, for countries that are not WTO member, it depends on whether that country and Taiwan have an arrangement for reciprocal copyright protection. If so, the works of Taiwanese citizens enjoy protection.
A creator enjoys copyright as soon as a work is completed. Release or distribution of a work is not a prerequisite for obtaining copyrights. Copyright protection may be enjoyed even for works that have not been released or distributed.
Copyrights are divided into moral rights and economic rights. Protection of moral rights is perpetual. Economic rights are for the lifetime of the creator and for 50 years after his or her death. However, economic rights in pseudonymous or anonymous works, works authored by a juristic person (e.g. a company or foundation), photographic and audiovisual works, sound recordings, and performances are for 50 years from the time of public release.
Copyrights can be divided into moral rights and economic rights. Under the R.O.C. copyright act, moral rights belong exclusively to, and are inalienable from, the author. They may not be assigned or inherited. Economic rights, on the other hand, may be assigned to others in whole or in part, or may be owned jointly with others.