Customs yesterday (December 11) conducted an operation to crack down on activities contravening the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007.
During the operation, Customs officers raided 12 shops located respectively in Mong Kok, Kwai Chung and Wan Chai, and seized a total of 162 parallel imported music CDs.
They arrested 12 men, aged between 22 and 49. Seven of them were shop owners and the remaining were shop assistants.
The success of the operation was attributed to the full co-operation and support rendered to the Department by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
The Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 came into force on July 6. Under the amended Ordinance, it is a criminal offence to deal in (i.e. sell, hire or distribute for profit) parallel imported copies of any copyright work (except computer software products); or import parallel imported copies of any copyright work (except computer software products) for dealing in the copies if such acts are done within 15 months from the date the copyright work was first published anywhere in the world.
The amended Ordinance allows for presumptions for the Customs to target illegal parallel imported copies of copyright work in the market.
The Group Head (Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations)), Mr Edmond Cheng, today (December 12) said, 'The presumption provisions are effective tools for law enforcement officers in the investigation of criminal infringement cases involving illegal parallel imported copies of copyright work. Hong Kong Customs will continue to work closely with the copyright industry to step up enforcement action against illicit activities involving parallel imported copies of copyright work.'
The Chief Executive Officer of International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Limited, Mr Ricky Fung, said that this joint endeavour between Hong Kong Customs and IFPI served to contain infringement activities of copyright music work, eradicating pirated disks from the market and hence protecting consumer interest.
Any person contravening the Copyright Ordinance is liable to the maximum penalty of a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy and an imprisonment for four years.
Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2007