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Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 gazetted
     The Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (the Amendment Ordinance) was gazetted today (December 16) to update Hong Kong's copyright regime to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment.
     A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said, "The copyright system is an essential component of the intellectual property (IP) regime, offering protection for original works including those in the literary and artistic fields, and is crucial to the development of local creative industries and a knowledge-based economy. The Amendment Ordinance will strengthen Hong Kong's IP protection regime to ensure that it keeps abreast with the times and current international norms so as to encourage creativity and technological development, and meet local social and economic development needs. The enactment of the Amendment Ordinance is also one of the important measures to develop Hong Kong into a regional IP trading centre in line with the National 14th Five-Year Plan."
     The Amendment Ordinance mainly covers the following five key areas:
1. To introduce an exclusive technology-neutral communication right for copyright owners in light of technological developments;
2. To introduce criminal sanctions against infringements relating to the new communication right;
3. To revise and expand the scope of copyright exceptions to allow use of copyright works in certain common Internet activities; facilitate online learning and operation of libraries, museums and archives; and allow media shifting of sound recordings, etc;
4. To introduce "safe harbour" provisions to provide incentives for online service providers to co-operate with copyright owners in combating online piracy and to provide reasonable protection for their acts; and
5. To introduce two additional statutory factors for the court to consider when assessing whether to award additional damages to copyright owners in civil cases involving copyright infringements.
     The Government will press ahead with the relevant preparatory work for implementing the Amendment Ordinance and arrange for gazettal of the commencement date of the Amendment Ordinance as soon as possible. The Government will also launch a series of publicity and educational activities to enhance public awareness and understanding of the Amendment Ordinance.
     "The Amendment Ordinance is an important milestone of our ongoing effort to maintain a robust and competitive copyright regime. It also lays a solid foundation to enable us to handle other copyright issues in future. After the Amendment Ordinance comes into operation, we will embark on a new round of review as soon as possible to further discuss with different stakeholders those copyright issues which have not been addressed in this legislative exercise," the spokesman added.
Ends/Friday, December 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:00
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