Stars linked to nude photos shut out of Games opening ceremony

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, 12:00am

Stars linked to the scandal over nude photos of Hong Kong celebrities circulating on the internet are no longer being lined up to perform in this summer's Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing, a mainland newspaper reported yesterday.

Earlier reports had suggested singers Gillian Chung Yan-tung, of the pop duo Twins, and Nicholas Tse Ting-fung would perform at the ceremony. However, the Dalian Evening News reported that the ceremony's artistic director, filmmaker Zhang Yimou, had turned instead to new mainland act A-One.

Citing sources, the paper said Zhang had taken the decision because of the scandal over the photos. Among the celebrities alleged to be in the photos are Chung and Tse's wife, actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi.

The Emperor Entertainment Group, which manages Chung and Cheung, would not comment.

Meanwhile, Edison Chen Koon-hei, who has admitted taking the photographs - which were copied from his computer while it was under repair - was last night still helping police with their inquiries. On Sunday he said he had filed a complaint to the Customs and Excise Department that his copyright on the photos had been infringed, in the hope it would prevent further infringement.

Barrister Ronny Tong Ka-wah, who is not involved in the case, said Chen had copyright on them even if he had not stated clearly that he did.

'The copyright belongs to a photo taker the second he takes a photo. One does not need to claim it,' Mr Tong said.

The customs department said that under the Copyright Ordinance, any person who, without the licence of the copyright owner, makes an infringing copy of a copyrighted work for sale or hire; or sells, lets for hire or distributes such a copy, commits an offence.

'It is also an offence to distribute an infringing copy of a copyrighted work to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,' a spokesman for the department said.

Mr Tong said newspapers and magazines that had published the photos may have broken the law.

'Common sense says the pictures were taken by Chen, and they should have known it,' he said.