Need to educate on intellectual property rights

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 1998, 12:00am

Classrooms are the latest battleground in the fight against pirated goods.

Primary and secondary schools, as well as tertiary institutions, have been targeted in a long-term education plan, believed to be a world first, in efforts to protect intellectual property rights.

Staff from the Intellectual Property Department have visited 85 Hong Kong schools with more than 23,000 pupils aged between 15 and 17 - a prime target of pirated goods. The aim is to visit all 400 secondary schools in the next five years - and then to start all over again.

Primary schools will soon receive a new teaching kit which helps younger children understand the importance of protecting original work.

Younger children will be encouraged to be creative in the role plays, giving them a practical understanding of the need to protect original work.

The move comes as tough new laws come into effect which make it more difficult to manufacture pirated CDs, CD-ROMs, laser discs and VCDs.

'We have an enforcement regime but it's not enough,' said acting Senior Intellectual Property Examiner Belinda Sin.

'We need to get the message through to the kids who use these products that buying them is morally wrong, that it is just like stealing from someone.'