Hong Kong Partners


Pilot Scheme for promotion of local publications and reading culture in Hong Kong

The Public Lending Right Alliance (the “Alliance”), in Chinese (授予公共圖書館圖書借閱權大聯盟), has been formed by the major publishing associations, independent publishers and authors, it represents more than 95% of Hong Kong publishing peers. The major member associations of the Alliance are (in alphabetical order):

– Hong Kong Book & Magazine Trade Association
– Hong Kong Book & Stationery Industry Association
– Hong Kong Comics & Animation Federation
– Hong Kong Novel Association
– Hong Kong Publishers & Distributors Association
– Hong Kong Publishing Federation
– Hong Kong Publishing Professionals Society
– Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society
– Hong Kong SME Publications Association
– Hong Kong Tradebook Publishers Association
– The Hong Kong Association of Professional Education Publishing Limited

Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society (HKRRLS) is the appointed Secretariat of the Alliance. HKRRLS was established in 1995 by Hong Kong authors and publishers to license public access to their copyright works. The Society now represents millions of publications published in Hong Kong and overseas, via its affiliation with the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. HKRRLS obtains licensing authority from mandates given by national rightsholders, and international repertoire through bilateral agreements with Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs). HKRRLS is one of the six registered licensing bodies with the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department and has over 10 years of experience in copyright licensing, royalty collection and distribution.

HKRRLS aims to promote and advance the rights of copyright owners, raise public awareness and understanding of Hong Kong’s copyright laws, meet the needs of the local community who want access to published works by providing an economical, efficient one-stop shop for licensing the works around the world and to enforce the rights of those we represent both on a domestic and international basis. Under voluntary collective licensing, HKRRLS issues licences to copy the works of rightsholders it represents.

HKRRLS is not-for-profit organization with all income (including royalties from licensees and from RROs) after deduction of expenditure and certain necessary provisions are available for distribution to rightsholders.

Hong Kong Public library online catalog currently offers no Chinese cover image and relevant book data information. Whereas, most English books have cover image and additional information like Summary/Annotation, Library Journal Review, First Chapter or Excerpt, Fiction/Biography Profile and Author Notes.

The Pilot Scheme offers a unique opportunity to bridge the library and the publishing industry through numerous collaborations and marketing campaigns. On behalf of the Alliance, HKRRLS is intended to be the service provider for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) to license for public access the Hong Kong publication cover images and to provide a platform that allows LCSD to integrate these images and relevant book data information seamlessly with their existing library electronic catalog interface.

Key Objectives of the Pilot Scheme

1. Create a quality reading atmosphere through better user experience by incorporating Hong Kong book cover images and relevant information into existing library electronic catalog.
2. Enhance reading interest by facilitating the setup of Smart Library through digitalizing up to 100k Hong Kong book data in the existing library inventory.
3. Promote reading culture and help develop reading habits by supporting the Library promotional events and marketing activities
4. Support authorship and sustainable development of Hong Kong publishing industries.

Budget & Deliverables

1. A total of HK$30 million to be allocated in 3 years.
2. The budget will cover a package of services including the use of Hong Kong book cover images available at the platform, system development and maintenance, and marketing support in events related to the pilot scheme.
3. Digitalizing up to 100k Hong Kong book data (cover image and optional additional information like Summary/Annotation, First Chapter or Excerpt, Fiction/Biography Profile).
4. Develop a platform to supply the digitalized Hong Kong book cover images and additional book data to Hong Kong Public Libraries. The platform is designed to 5. integrate seamlessly with existing library electronic catalog.
6. Grant non-exclusive and non-transferrable right to Hong Kong public libraries with access to licensed digital book cover images of the Alliance members’ published works.
7. HKRRLS will request members of the Alliance to grant non-exclusive rights to sublicense third parties to Copy and Communicate Copyright Material and to authorize organizations of similar standing and performing similar functions outside Hong Kong to license such rights to persons in those organizations’ territories.
8. Support LCSD marketing events including but not limited to book club, author sharing events in relation to the promotion of reading culture in Hong Kong.
9. Consolidate marketing materials (multimedia items like videos, articles, promotional images) from the Alliance members in an easily accessible repository and grant non-exclusive and non-transferrable right to LCSD to use in their online/offline marketing campaigns.
10. Handle license fee distribution to the copyright owners of the book cover images. The license fee will be equally distributed among publishers and authors in 50/50 ratio.
11. Provide project audit report.

Preliminary Milestone

Suggested Timeframe

1st Phase: Planning Period
• Prepare pilot scheme proposal
• Signing of letter of intent

Suggested Timeframe : 1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019

2nd Phase: Development Period
• Platform/Repository development
• Gather available digitalized book data from LCSD and respective publishers and conduct data massaging
• Licensing arrangement with authors and publishers
• Conduct manual scanning of book covers without digital data by handling all logistics, equipment and human resources.
• Reviewing agreement by DOJ
• Signing of agreement

Suggested Timeframe : 1 May 2019 – 30 December 2019

3rd Phase: Implementation Period
• Test and debug the platform and official platform deployment
• Promotional activities

Suggested Timeframe : 1 December 2019 – 31 March 2020

4th Phase: Deployment and Maintenance Period
• Regular update of library book data information and optional update by the publishers with authorized login
• Provide project audit report

Suggested Timeframe : 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2023