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Student wins copyright contest with copied work

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan yesterday revoked the prize in the Protect Copyright Design Contest after discovering the winner copied the work of a Dutch designer to win the competition.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the organizer of the contest, said it disqualified Wu Chih-wei and asked him to return the medal and cash award of NT$5,000 (US$156).

“The contest's purpose is to make the public respect the intellectual property of other people,” the office said. “If someone copies other people's work to join the contest, it runs counter to this purpose, and this person must bear the legal consequences.”

Wu, a student from Douliou's National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, won the top prize in the student section of the November contest with a design showing a paper airplane plunging because its tail was broken.

The title of the entry was “Work — Shattered.”

But a Taiwan woman, identified only by her family name of Lee, alerted the IPO yesterday that Wu had copied the work of Dutch designer Dennis Sibeijn. Sibeijn's image, entitled Truth, is shown on his website.

Wu admitted copying the work, saying he did it because he needed the money, said Chiang Yu-hua of the IPO.

“When we contacted him, Wu realized he had committed a crime and said he was absolutely distraught and was very sorry,” she said.

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