Hong Kong Customs conducted a four-day, territory-wide, anti-piracy operation from June 19, raiding eight shops and smashing a pirated optical discs storage warehouse. Over 43,000 pirated optical discs, worth about $1 million, were seized.
Customs officers recently found some shops in Wan Chai, Yau Ma Tei, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long selling pirated optical discs with some of them claimed to be “Blu-ray discs”. After investigations, customs officers of the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau and Special Task Force mounted the operation which resulted in the arrest of 12 men and four women, aged between 16 and 61.
The seized discs included TV dramas and movies now being screened. About 2,800 of the discs seized were marked with a “Blu-ray” logo, and sold at $25 to $30 each. Initial investigations found them to be fake "Blu-ray" discs. The arrested people will be charged under the Copyright Ordinance and Trade Descriptions Ordinance.
The Group Head of the Customs Special Task Force, Mr Thomas Lin, said today (June 23), “Hong Kong Customs has spared no effort in protecting intellectual property rights. We will continue to conduct raids on black spots in combating copyright infringement activities.”
Under the Copyright Ordinance, any person selling an infringing copy of a copyright work is liable to the maximum penalty of imprisonment for four years and a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy.
Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, it is a criminal offence to sell goods to which a false trade mark or false trade description was applied. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for five years and a fine of $500,000.
Anyone who comes across any suspected piracy activities is encouraged to report it to Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Ends/Tuesday, June 23, 2009