Hong Kong Customs mounts operation to combat provision of infringing karaoke songs by party rooms (with photos)

30 Jul 2022

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (July 29) conducted an enforcement operation codenamed "Magpie" throughout the city to combat illegal activities involving party room operators providing infringing karaoke songs to customers in the course of business. Patrols at party rooms were also carried out by the Police in the operation to ensure the persons-in-charge of the premises and patrons abide by the anti-epidemic regulations.

Through intelligence analysis and with the assistance of copyright owners, Customs officers earlier identified a number of party rooms suspected of possessing and providing infringing karaoke songs for customers in the course of business. Customs then conducted a joint enforcement operation with the Police yesterday and inspected 11 party rooms in Kwun Tong, Mong Kok, San Po Kong and Kwai Chung. Eleven sets of karaoke players used for playing suspected infringing songs, three sets of game consoles with suspected pirated electronic games and a batch of televisions and audio and video equipment were seized. The total estimated market value is $360,000 in approximate.

During the operation, three men and two women aged from 19 to 46 were arrested for being suspected of contravening the Copyright Ordinance. Of them, two are persons-in-charge of the party rooms and three others are staff members. An investigation is ongoing and the fiver arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation. During the operation, no person was found violated the anti-epidemic regulations.

Customs reminds business operators that they are liable to the Copyright Ordinance, and that it is a serious crime to sell infringing items, or keep and use infringing materials for business purposes.

Under the Copyright Ordinance, any person, who without the licence of the copyright owner of copyright work, possesses infringing copies of a copyright work for the purpose of or in the course of any trade or business with a view to its being used by any person commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy and imprisonment for four years.

Members of the public may report any suspected infringing activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk).

Ends/Saturday, July 30, 2022

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