Below is a statement by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr John Tsang Chun-wah, at today's (March 26) Press Conference on the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000:
In the implementation of the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000 in combating corporate piracy, Customs will adopt a set of practical evidence collection procedure with the aim of detecting infringements while minimising undue adverse effect to the daily operation of the corporations concerned.
Based on this principle, we will not conduct regular inspections to industrial and commercial corporations. We will only initiate investigations based on legitimate complaints. In processing complaints, we will interview the complainants, verify the information particulars and assess the credibility of the information received before taking further action. In the event, we will not accept anonymous complaints. When an allegation is substantiated, we will apply to the Magistrate for a search warrant to conduct a search. In the raid, we will require the presence and assistance of the copyright owners to verify the authenticity of the subject articles. Prosecution will be considered only after completion of a thorough investigation.
Turning to prevention of bootlegging, we have already finalised a set of mutually agreed co-operative arrangements with the Hong Kong Theatres Association. Upon receipt of reports of bootlegging, Customs officers will attend to the scene as soon as possible. Before the arrival of Customs officers, the staff of the cinema will take appropriate actions to stop the bootlegging act and to keep the persons involved from leaving the scene.
We will continue with vigorous enforcement in the protection of intellectual property rights. Taking this opportunity, I wish to appeal to members of the public as well as the industrial and business sectors once again to get yourself properly prepared to avoid commitment of the criminal offence.
End/Monday, March 26, 2001