Government departments will have to stop making photocopies of newspaper articles in order to avoid breaching copyright law amendments coming into effect today. Making copies without authorisation from copyright holders or using pirated products will become criminal offences with a maximum penalty of four years' imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 for each offence under the amendments, which were passed last June. Departments currently copy newspaper cuttings and distribute them to the department chief, senior officials and other staff. But there is no mechanism for handling copyright issues and charges for the print media, so the Government and private sector have no channel for payment of copyright fees. The Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Industry, Kenneth Mak Ching-yu, speaking on RTHK, said the Government was discussing a copyright charging mechanism with newspapers. The Government would not make photocopies from newspapers for the time being but would circulate newspaper cuttings, Mr Mak said.