AN anti-piracy amendment bill was defended yesterday as necessary to uphold Hong Kong's trading reputation. The legislation, which seeks to safeguard intellectual property rights, has been attacked by a major video chain store as likely to increase costs to consumers. KPS Video Express brought a 20,000-signature petition of protest to a Legco committee examining the bill yesterday. Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry Alan Wong Chi-kong said: 'The fundamental principle of introducing the bill is to uphold protection of copyrights and of authors. 'Without the guarantee to earn the income they deserve, the authors will be discouraged from producing high-quality productions,' he said. 'Hong Kong's reputation on this aspect has long been good. But more unauthorised products have appeared in the local market in the past two years.' KPS said it was worried the bill would stop the practice of allowing parallel imports - for example by copyright owners on one hand and KPS on the other. 'The range of titles available to the public for rental will be restricted as a result because the copyright owner, unlike KPS, will not import the less popular production,' said company director Kitty Roman. Managing director Garrie Roman said Hong Kong was such a small place it did not need the introduction of rental rights. But Crucindo Hung Cho-shing, chairman of the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association, said the law would help stop piracy of the local film market.