Hong Kong Customs conducted an enforcement operation on March 9 to combat infringing activities involving circumventing game consoles. Four game consoles suspected to be connected with the case, a batch of suspected circumvention devices and a portable computer with an external hard disk used for dealing with pirated games were seized. The total estimated market value was about $20,000.
Customs earlier received information alleging that someone offered paid services to circumvent game consoles and suspected pirated electronic games for sale through a social media platform page. After an in-depth investigation and with the assistance of the copyright owner, Customs officers took enforcement action on March 9 and made an arrangement through the social media platform page to make a deal with a seller in Tai Po. Three game consoles suspected to be connected with the case and a batch of suspected circumvention devices were seized at the scene. The 37-year-old male seller suspected of providing circumventing services was arrested.
Later, Customs officers searched the arrested man's residential unit in Sha Tin and further seized a batch of items suspected to be connected with the case, including a game console and a portable computer with an external hard disk used for dealing with pirated games.
An investigation is ongoing.
Customs stresses that the copyright owner had applied an effective technological measure in game consoles to prevent any unauthorised games being played on the device. The arrested person is suspected to have made pirated games playable in game consoles using circumvention technology.
Customs reminds traders not to take part in circumvention activities since selling a circumvention device or providing a circumvention service is a serious crime. Also, members of the public should respect intellectual property rights and not buy any circumvention devices. Unknown websites connected with the circumvention devices might contain computer viruses or malware which can pose a risk to users.
Under the Copyright Ordinance, any person who possesses an infringing copy of a copyright work with a view to selling it commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy and imprisonment for four years. Any person who, for the purpose of a circumvention business, or in the course of a circumvention business, sells or lets for hire a relevant device, or provides relevant service in order to allow circumventing an effective technological measure which has been applied in relation to a copyright work, is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for four years.
Members of the public may report any suspected infringement activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Monday, March 13, 2023