Joint push to tackle illegal Net downloads
Film industry and internet service providers are planning a joint effort to combat illegal downloading.
Woody Tsung Wan-chi, president of the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association, said the industry had its first meeting with various internet service providers on Monday.
The meeting was called by the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau. Mr Tsung said it was a good start, although no decisions were made. 'It was only our first meeting so it was only a basic discussion. We are not sure how we are going to work together yet but at least we have exchanged some basic ideas,' he said.
'It will be quite meaningful if the industries could work together, so that we don't just rely on the government.'
Mr Tsung said only 40 films were planned for next year, well down on the 300 films made in both 1993 and 1994.
He said the local movie industry had been heavily damaged by BT (BitTorrent) downloads, a form of free file-sharing.
'Technically, internet service providers can do a lot [to stop BT downloading]. For example they can block the seeds [the source of the download],' said Mr Tsung.
'But the problem is not technical issues. By principle [internet service providers] should know who's seeding the files, but can they disclose their identities? It's the thing we have to further discuss.'
A Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau spokeswoman said a date for the next meeting had not been set. The Federation of Hong Kong Film Workers is drafting a report on the situation to be submitted to the government.
'The report will contain data reflecting the problem, such as the decrease in the number of VCD shops,' said vice-chairman Cheung Tung-joe, a member of the industry's emergency taskforce.
He said illegal downloading dampened investors' confidence.