Taiwan sculptor Ju Ming awarded US$3.98 million in copyright case

Collector had 222 items illegally copied in China

Typical works of Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming (photo courtesy of yeowatzup) (By Wikimedia Commons)

Ju Ming work at the Academia Sinica in Taipei (photo courtesy of Hsuan Shih-sheng 玄史生) (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Three people who copied 222 typical pieces of sculptor Ju Ming (朱銘) will have to pay him NT$120.9 million (US$3.98 million), the Shilin District Court ruled Tuesday.

Ju, 79, is a world-famous sculptor whose typical sculptures are on view around the world, but especially at the Juming Museum in the hills of Jinshan, close to Taiwan’s northern coast in New Taipei City.

A prominent art collector named as Yeh Jung-chia (葉榮嘉) needed to auction off his collection of famous taichi works by Ju for financial reasons, but because he wanted to hold on to the masterpieces, he colluded with two businessmen to copy the works, the court said.

From 2010 to 2012, he had the sculptures copied in China before selling them to collectors in Taiwan or keeping them for himself, while one of the men he cooperated with also imported fakes and distributed them to unwitting art lovers with forged certificates of authenticity, according to the court.

Some of the plotters also contacted a smith who actually worked with Ju himself to join in their machinations, a report by the Central News Agency said.

A total of eight defendants were handed prison sentences, some of them suspended, while Yeh and two other men were sentenced to a total payment of NT$120.9 million to Ju, reports said.