Copyright is a kind protection to the creators/owners of Intellectual Property (IP). Here is a brief concept of Copyright Law in Hong Kong:

General idea of Copyright?

  • A form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
  • Protects only the expression or product of concept (e.g. an article by a writer)
  • Protects owners of original work of intellectual properties from being copied or performance without consent of owners
  • Supports the owners to make wealth from their work
  • Encourages the owners to develop on their work (i.e. protects creativity)

Who is the owner of a Copyright-item? (i.e.
Ownership of
Copyright)

  • Author of a work is the first owner of any copyright – E.g. Producer (sound recording), publisher (publication), and director (film)
  • Employer (or commissioner) owns the copyright of work produced by employee

How is the protection powered by Copyright
Law?

  • Copyright Law is governed by the Copyright Ordnance
  • The Copyright Tribunal (http://www.ct.gov.hk) provides a forum for resolving disputes about the use of copyright works
  • Copyright Tribunal  is an independent quasi-judicial body
  • Automatically protects an original work (i.e. need not apply, unlike patents & trademarks)
  • Protection for recognized categories of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films, television broadcasts, cable programs, works which are delivered to public on the Internet, and software
  • Owners of work has exclusive control in coping, issuing/rental of copies to public, perform/play/broadcast the work to public

Copyright protection to works and their
owners in other countries
because Hong Kong is a member of:

  • Berne Convention
  • Universal Copyright Convention
  • The Phonograms Convention and the World Trade Organization – Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Validity period of Copyright:

  • Literary, and artistic work: 50 year after the death of owner
  • Photographs, sound recording, film, and broadcast: 50 years after the debut
  • Edition of publication: 25 years after the publication of that edition

Type of Copyright Infringement:

Primary infringement:
  • The infringer is performed by a person or an individual who is authorized
  • Direct “copying” without the consent of the owner in any material form (i.e. the 1st creator to produce infringing copies or infringing performance)
Secondary infringement:
  • The infringer is performed by a person
  • Trading, possessing, importing to, and exporting from infringing copies/performance
  • Involves in or providing means for marking of infringing copies/performance
Exemption:
  • Private or household study
  • Criticism, review and news reporting
  • Use of works in library and school

Remedies for infringement:

Copyright owner may take civil legal action against infringer for compensation of losses, to prevent further infringement.

Criminal offense for situations as follows:

  • Copyright privacy: Infringers are subjected to a maximum fine of HKD 50,000 per infringing article and a term of imprisonment of up
    to four years
  • Importing or exporting of private work: Infringers are subjected to a maximum fine of HKD 50,000 per infringing article and a
    term of imprisonment of up to eight years
  • Parallel importation of articles containing copyright work: Protection during the 18 months commencing from the work’s first
    publication anywhere in the world

Assignment of Copyright:

  • Assignment of copyright means transfer of ownership of copyright from original copyright owner (i.e. copyright owner) to new
    owner (i.e. assignee)
  • Writing and signed document by the assignor is required to make the transfer effective

Licensing of Copyright:

  • Does not involve the transfer of ownership of copyright Copyright owner (i.e. licensor) permits the others (i.e. licensee) the right to use the work for a period, including copying and sell the copies.
  • The licensee maybe exclusive or non-exclusive
  • Writing and signed document by the assignor is required to
    make the licensing effective