Commencement of Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022
The Government published in the Gazette today (February 17) the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (Commencement) Notice (the Commencement Notice). The Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (the Amendment Ordinance) will come into operation on May 1.
The Amendment Ordinance updates the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528) to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment, including introducing an exclusive technology-neutral communication right for copyright owners and criminal sanctions against infringements of the concerned new right, a “safe harbour” regime for incentivising online service providers (OSPs) to co-operate with copyright owners in combating online piracy, and several new and expanded copyright exceptions (including allowing the use of copyright works in certain common Internet activities, and facilitating online learning and the operation of libraries, museums and archives) to maintain an appropriate balance between copyright protection and reasonable use of copyright works.
The Commencement Notice will be tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting on February 22.
To tie in with the operation of the “safe harbour” regime under the Amendment Ordinance, the Government also gazetted today the code of practice which provides practical guidance of the relevant practices and procedures that OSPs may adopt upon being notified of online piracy on their service platforms in accordance with the “safe harbour” regime under the Amendment Ordinance.
The Government will launch a series of publicity and educational activities to enhance awareness and understanding of the Amendment Ordinance amongst various stakeholders and the general public. These include providing relevant information on the Amendment Ordinance on the website of the Intellectual Property Department (www.ipd.gov.hk), distributing promotional leaflets, conducting briefings targeting different stakeholders and launching Announcements in the Public Interest through electronic media.
Upon commencement of the Amendment Ordinance, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) will continue to step up inspections and enforcement in co-operation with copyright owners. Depending on the circumstances and evidence of individual cases, the C&ED will take enforcement actions in accordance with the Copyright Ordinance as amended to further combat online piracy.