Government 'should pay copy fees'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 12:00am

The Government should pay the royalty fees tertiary institutions are charged to photocopy newspaper articles for educational purposes, a legislator said yesterday.

The Copyright Licensing Association announced last week it would issue annual licences to permit the copying of newspapers for internal use, with exemptions for charitable organisations, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools. But tertiary institutions will not be exempted from the scheme, which comes into effect on Thursday.

At the Legco commerce and industry panel yesterday, Democrat legislator Cheung Man-kwong said it was unfair to treat tertiary institutions differently.

'The ordinance is difficult to implement and will create a lot of problems. If the charges are to be kept, the Government should pay them as most of the educational institutions are government-funded,' he said.

Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Industry Kenneth Mak Ching-yu said not all education bodies could be exempted as the Government had to protect copyright owners' interests.