Customs deters parallel imported movie DVD activities (with photo)

9 Oct 2008

Customs officers seized on October 6 a total of 203 parallel imported movie DVDs, worth $5,075, in raids on four shops in Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan.

They arrested three men and a woman, aged 20 to 67. Two of them were shop owners and the remaining were shop assistants. They are on bail pending further investigations.

The success of the operation was attributed to the full co-operation and support rendered to the Customs by the copyright owner of the movie concerned.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (October 9), “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 Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 came into force on July 6 last year. Under the amended Ordinance, it is a criminal offence to deal in (that is, 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.

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/Tuesday, October 9, 2008

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