Shops reminded not to photocopy books without consent from copyright owners

1 Sep 2004

Members of the public, and in particular owners and staff of photocopying shops have been warned not to make photocopies of copyright works, including textbooks, without authorisation of the copyright owners.

"Under the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, it is an offence for a person to possess, for the purpose of or in the course of a profit-making copying service business, an infringing copy of a copyright work as published in a book, magazine or periodical. The maximum penalty is four years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy," a Customs and Excise Department spokesman said today (September 1).

The warning follows an anti-piracy operation on August 30 and 31 by Customs officers of the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau to follow up on complaints received from the representatives of copyright owners that some photocopying shops had allegedly provided illegal photocopying of textbooks.

During the operation, officers seized 305 infringing photocopies of textbooks and nine photocopying machines in eight shops in Chai Wan, Shau Kei Wan, North Point, Cheung Sha Wan, Shek Kip Mei and Tuen Mun. Total seizure was worth about $200,000.

Five men aged between 24 and 63, and five women aged between 31 and 53 were arrested.

The spokesman appealed to people to report any infringing activities by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Wednesday, September 1, 2004

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