Government committed to promoting public education on protection of intellectual property rights (with photos)

16 Jul 2011

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Richard Yuen, and the Acting Director of Intellectual Property, Ms Ada Leung, today (July 16) officiated at the "Youth Ambassador of the Year Award" Presentation Ceremony cum "I Pledge" Anti-Internet Piracy Publicity Show at the Auditorium of the Customs Headquarters Building.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Yuen said, "The Hong Kong Government attaches great importance to encouraging creativity and promoting public awareness of the need to respect and protect intellectual property rights (IPRs). We provide a level playing field for the business sector and facilitate doing business and promote creativity in Hong Kong through a robust IPRs regime, vigorous law enforcement, cross-boundary co-operation and public education."

Mr Yuen added that Hong Kong has a comprehensive IPRs legal system and the Hong Kong Customs has been taking vigorous enforcement against IPRs infringement at all levels. "However, we cannot rely on law enforcement alone to drive out IP crimes. Public education is equally, if not more, important," he said.

On public education, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) and the copyright industry have been jointly organising various publicity and educational events to promote respect for IPRs in the community and especially among the youth, so as to inculcate a culture of IPRs protection when they are young.

One of the educational events is the Youth Ambassador Against Internet Piracy Scheme, which was initiated by the C&ED in 2006 in collaboration with the copyright industry. Some 200 000 members of 11 youth uniformed groups have so far joined the scheme, which is aimed at promoting a sense of respect for copyright works among young people. In the past five years, different promotional activities have been organised under the scheme to raise the awareness of, and to motivate the youth ambassadors to support, IPRs protection.

At the "Youth Ambassador of the Year Award" Presentation Ceremony, Mr Yuen presented awards to the Champion and First and Second Runners-up of the winning youth uniformed groups. Individual outstanding youth ambassadors were also awarded trophies in recognition of their active participation in the scheme and their outstanding performances in promoting IPRs protection.

The other officiating guest, Ms Leung, appealed to the community to respect IPRs on the Internet when enjoying the fruits of technology innovations. "In order to safeguard the interests of copyright owners, one should never upload or download unauthorised or pirated copyright works or purchase counterfeit goods on the Internet, and should never get involved in Internet piracy activities," she added.

The IPD launched the "I Pledge" Campaign in 1999. The campaign has so far attracted over 10 000 members to join. The members pledge not to buy or use pirated or counterfeit goods and to show respect for the IPRs of others.

The IPD, together with the C&ED, the copyright industry and different organisations in the community have also organised different anti-piracy activities to promote public respect for IPRs. The Youth Ambassador Competition on Business Software Proposal is one of these activities.

The competition, jointly organised by the C&ED, the IPD and the Business Software Alliance, is aimed at instilling a sense of respect for IPRs among the youth and promoting the use of genuine software in companies and corporations. Participants were required to submit proposals on the theme. The three winning teams were presented with prizes at today's ceremony.

The C&ED and the IPD will launch a new set of TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest (APIs) this summer to remind members of the public that selling of pirated and counterfeit goods is serious criminal offence. The APIs were premiered at the ceremony.

Nine winners of last year's "Protection of Intellectual Property Rights on the Internet Creative Competition" also shared their experiences from their study tour of IPRs organisations in Tokyo last August with the guests and participants.

Also officiating at the ceremony were representatives of the 11 youth uniformed groups.

Ends/Saturday, July 16, 2011

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