Customs conducted an operation and searched a children's learning institute for suspected infringing books yesterday (April 7). In the operation, about 500 full-colour copied books, three computers and three multi-functional photocopiers were seized. Suspected infringing soft copies of books were also found contained in some of the computers seized. The total seizure value is about $117,000. One male and five females, aged between 23 and 48, were arrested. Three of them are directors of the institute while the other three are receptionists.
Acting on complaints, the children's learning institute was suspected to have offered infringing books as course materials for sale at about $25 each, which is about 60 per cent off the price of the original books.
The learning institute mainly provided English learning courses for children and offered the infringing books to parents of the kids enrolling in its courses in its four branches located in Tsuen Wan, North Point, Sha Tin and Kowloon Tong. The learning institute was suspected to have infringed the right of the copyright owner and committed a criminal offence under the Copyright Ordinance.
The Divisional Commander (Intellectual Property Technology Crime Investigation), Mr Guy Fong, today (April 8) urged learning institutes to respect intellectual property rights. Selling of infringing goods in the course of business is a serious crime. Under the Copyright Ordinance, it is an offence to import, export, sell or manufacture infringing items. Offenders are liable to a maximum punishment of imprisonment for four years and a fine of $50,000 for each infringing copy.
Anyone with information on suspected infringing activities can make a report to Customs by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, April 8 2014