Customs detects first case using new system against suspected copyright infringer on discussion forum

26 Sep 2014

In an action conducted by Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 25), a man was arrested for uploading a large quantity of suspected infringing copyright works to the Internet for downloading by other people with the aim of getting monetary returns. This is the first case Customs has effected using the latest Lineament Monitoring System 1 Plus (LMS1+) developed by the department.

During the operation, Customs arrested a 40-year-old man in Yuen Long who claimed to be unemployed, seizing two computers. Using the newly developed LMS1+, Customs officers found the man regularly distributing infringing copyright works on discussion forums, including a large quantity of comics, local and overseas movies, local TV dramas and Japanese dramas and more. The man was found to be uploading the suspected infringing copyright works to cyberlockers worldwide for downloading by other people with the aim of getting monetary returns.

Hong Kong Customs makes use of technology to tackle technology crime. Internet monitoring solely by way of manpower is not feasible nowadays. This was the first case effected with LMS1+. The LMS1+ is an automatic monitoring system that searches discussion forums and detects suspected intellectual property infringement activities. It is capable of capturing evidence related to selected messages, including performing automatic download of the content for further analysis. It will alert Customs officers of any suspected cases for detailed investigation.

Hong Kong Customs set up the Electronic Crime Investigation Centre (ECIC) in early 2013 to probe into challenges brought about by the latest cyber technologies and to formulate strategies and develop systems for enforcement. The LMS1+, jointly developed by the ECIC and the University of Hong Kong, was completed early this year and has been in full implementation since July.

The Group Head of Intellectual Property Investigation (Operations), Mr Wong Yim-pui, today (September 26) appealed to members of the public to respect intellectual property rights and not to upload any infringing copyright works on the Internet for downloading by others. Distributing infringing copies of copyright works on the Internet is a criminal offence. Under the Copyright Ordinance, it is an offence to distribute an infringing copy. Offenders are liable to a maximum punishment of imprisonment for four years and a fine of $50,000 for each infringing copy.

Ends/Friday, September 26, 2014

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