The operators of two photocopying shops have become the first to be arrested under the Copyright Ordinance for allegedly copying a textbook without the publisher's consent. The Kwun Tong and Kwai Chung shops were raided on Monday after the Canotta Publishing Company, based in North Point, ordered photocopies of its own publications as a test before alerting the Customs and Excise Department. A man, 51, from the Kwun Tong shop, and a woman, 50, from the other, were released on bail of $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. The two shops are not connected. About 200 photocopies of different textbooks and exercise books worth $67,000 were seized and photocopy machines from both shops confiscated. Twenty-one copies of Mathematics Today, an exercise book for Secondary Three students, were found. The Canotta Publishing Company was not available for comment yesterday. It is not known how much Mathematics Today costs in bookstores, but the copy shops were asking just $6 or $7 for the 56-page book. Walter Mak Hoi-wan, Copyright Investigation Division Commander of the Customs and Excise Department, said: 'This is an unprecedented arrest and the first time we've received a complaint. 'Under existing law, photocopying without the consent or authorisation of the copyright owners is a violation of the Copyright Ordinance. 'Copying shops should be well aware of the law. Only a small amount of photocopying for personal or research use is acceptable,' he said. The department is seeking legal advice from the Justice Department over how to pursue the case. The Intellectual Property Department warned that both the person who placed an order for the photocopies and the shop operator risked breaching the law. Maximum penalties are a $50,000 fine and four years in jail. Rodney Chui Fong-ching, president of the Hong Kong Educational Publishers' Association, said: 'The photocopying of textbooks is still very prevalent, but it's a great trouble for us to monitor the situation out there. Students should be educated on how to respect intellectual property.' Mr Chui said some shops would photocopy popular textbooks without receiving orders and sell them. In April, an amendment to the Copyright Ordinance, which outlawed the copying of newspapers and other material, sparked a public outcry. The change has since been suspended pending a review.