Photocopied HKEAA past exam papers seized by Customs

8 Oct 2005

The Anti-Internet Piracy Team (AIPT) of Hong Kong Customs yesterday (October 7) cracked a copyright infringement case in North Point involving the sale of photocopied past examination papers of Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) through an Internet auction site.

Customs officers arrested a 19-year-old man, and seized 11 sets of photocopied HKEAA past examination papers and a set of computer, totally worth about $8,600.

While detecting piracy activities on the Internet about a month ago, Customs officers suspected there were past papers of Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination on sale on a local auction site. It was said that the photocopied papers could be sold along with marking schemes and suggested answers.

With the assistance of Internet Service Provider, Customs officers located a computer used for uploading such sale information to the auction site.

Customs officers mounted an operation in North Point yesterday afternoon (October 7); and arrested a 19-year-old man at an MTR station when he handed over three sets of photocopied past examination papers to a Customs officer disguised as a customer.

Later on, Customs officers seized from a residential premises in Sai Wan a batch of photocopied past examination papers.

The arrested man is now on bail pending further investigations.

After HKEAA confirms the photocopies are infringing copies, the man will be charged with the selling and possession of copies.

Under Copyright Ordinance, anyone who is found in possession of any infringing article for commercial purpose is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $50,000 per infringing article and four-year imprisonment.

The Divisional Commander of the Copyright Investigation Division, Mr Jimmy Tam, today (October 8) said that examination reports and marking schemes of different subjects were all copyright works; and hence, photocopies without the authorisation of HKEAA were infringing articles.

"In view of the vigorous crackdowns by Customs officers against unauthorised photocopying activities at photocopying service shops, offenders might attempt to use other sale channels, like touting the infringing copies on the Internet," Mr Tam said.

He reiterated that Hong Kong Customs would continue to keep close watch on the trend of copyright infringement activities, and take relentless enforcement actions against piracy.

Ends/Saturday, October 8, 2005

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