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CIRCULARS

Circular No. 01-03 (CR) March 2001
New Copyright Law to Come into Effect on 1 April

The amendments to the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528) provides that any person who, without the licence of the copyright owner, knowingly and in the course of business possesses any infringing copy of copyright work commits an offence. The offence is committed even if the person does not sell or deal in the infringing copies themselves. Employers and employees are equally liable for such infringing acts and may be subject to a maximum penalty of 4 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for each infringing copy. The new amendments will come into effect on 1 April 2001.

Practitioners of estate agency should comply with the new law in the course of their work and, in particular, take care not to instal pirated computer softwares. Managers of estate agency establishments should also ensure that all the softewares already installed in their computers have the requisite licences and that in making copies of any copyright work including computer softwares, books and newspapers, the requisite licences have been obtained from the copyright owners.

Details of the new regulation and the most frequently asked questions on the issue may be obtained from the website of the Intellectual Property Department at www.info.gov.hk/ipd.

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