Customs charges an alleged copyright infringer of a BitTorrent case

27 Apr 2005

Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (April 27) laid charges against an alleged copyright infringer in a BitTorrent (BT) case. The 38-year-old man will appear in the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts on April 29 (Friday).

When taking the first-ever enforcement action against copyright piracy relating to P2P file sharing activities on January 12, Customs officers arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of illegal distribution of three copyright movies on the Internet through the BT.

Following the arrest, Customs officers have recently completed the investigation, including evidence collection and forensic examination on the seized computers. As advised by the Department of Justice, C&ED today brought three charges against the man under the Copyright Ordinance for "attempting to distribute infringing copies of copyright works otherwise than for the purpose of, in the course of, any trade or business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright without the licence of the copyright owner".

The case was cracked by the Customs Anti-Internet Piracy Team (AIPT), which was set up in April, 2000. It is a dedicated team of seven Customs officers responsible for taking enforcement actions against Internet piracy. Equipped with advanced investigative tools, the team is capable of mounting effective investigations into piracy activities over the Internet. The team members have received training on computer crimes and forensic examination at local and overseas institutions.

Up to April 2005, the AIPT has processed 41 Internet piracy cases including the BT case, cases on distributing infringing files on websites and selling infringing articles on auction websites, resulting in the arrest of 67 persons and a total seizure worth $2.4 million.

C&ED will continue to conduct round-the-clock monitoring on the Internet to clamp down on Internet piracy, particularly peer-to-peer file sharing activities. In April, 2005, the Department set up the second Anti-Internet Piracy Team, consisting of seven members, to strengthen its investigation and enforcement action against piracy on the Internet.

Ends/Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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