´╗┐´╗┐Customs cracks down on shops selling illegally modified game consoles

12 Mar 2009

Customs officers in an operation codenamed "Intruder" yesterday (March 11) cracked down on shops believed to sell illegally modified portable electronic game consoles that enabled customers to play pirated electronic games.

Officers from the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau raided five shops in Tsuen Wan and Sham Shui Po and, for the first time, seized eight portable electronic game consoles with circumvention devices and 16 memory cards loaded with pirated games, worth about $13,500 in total. Six men, aged between 23 and 36, were arrested. Three of them were shop owners while the others were shop assistants. They are on bail pending further investigations.

Acting on reports and followed by in-depth investigations, the customs officers maintained close communication and co-operation with the copyright owner. The success of the operation against the sale activities involving circumvention devices and provision of circumvention services was attributed to the full support given by concerned copyright owner.

According to the section on criminal liability for circumvention of effective technological measures under the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007, a person commits an offence if he makes, imports or exports circumvention devices for sale or hire; sells such devices; or provides circumvention service for business purposes. The maximum penalty is four years' imprisonment and a fine of $500,000.

Copyright owners or the public should report any suspected copyright infringing activities to the Customs and Excise Department by calling its 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Thursday, March 12, 2009

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