Newspapers offer copyright grace period

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2001, 12:00am

Nine newspapers yesterday announced a one-month grace period after copyright law amendments came into effect on Sunday.

Organisations could continue making photocopies of news articles from the newspapers without the risk of being sued until the end of the month while they were seeking copyright authorisation, Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Industry Kenneth Mak Ching-yu said. He was speaking after a meeting with representatives of the nine newspapers.

The South China Morning Post, Ming Pao Daily, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, Hong Kong Economic Times, Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong iMail, Wen Wei Po, Ta Kung Pao and Sing Pao attended the meeting.

The Newspaper Society would seek agreement from other newspapers, its spokesman Kwong King-lim said. These include some of the industry's sales leaders, such as Apple Daily and Oriental Daily News.

But people were warned they could still be sued for making copies from newspapers which had not consented to the arrangement yet, Mr Mak said. Under the new law, a person can be fined $50,000 for each illegal copy and jailed for four years, even if no copy is sold.