Hong Kong piracy raids ahead of Fifa World Cup protect city’s reputation for rule of law

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 6:34pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 11:12pm

We refer to the “My Take” column of May 30 (“Customs helps Now TV fleece World Cup viewers”), and would like to set the record straight on some points made by Mr Alex Lo.

Firstly, we would like to state clearly that ViuTV, the free TV service of PCCW, will broadcast 19 matches of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia (including the opening match, the two semi-finals and the final) to all of the Hong Kong public for free, and a subscription to Now TV is not necessary to enjoy these 19 matches, contrary to what the article says.

Secondly, and more importantly, we are disappointed at the author’s views about the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights.

Piracy remains a serious issue in Hong Kong. It is not only hampering the development of the media and creative industries – which in turn is detrimental to the interests of the general public – but is also damaging Hong Kong’s reputation as a community which prides itself on its well-developed legal and law enforcement systems.

Got an illegal set-top box in Hong Kong? Be careful, customs is cracking down ahead of World Cup 2018 in Russia

Proper action to combat piracy and initiatives to protect IP rights are also necessary to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness in attracting international media, content and technology companies to invest in the city.

Hong Kong Customs’ determination to curb piracy is very much in line, and consistent, with what other developed markets have been doing, including Singapore, UK and Australia – some adopting even more progressive steps against piracy.

Hong Kong Customs deserves praise for piracy crackdown on TV set-top boxes

Customs’ action ahead of a major international sporting event to weed out opportunistic copyright infringers is timely and sends the correct signal to society, that piracy of copyright materials is not to be tolerated. Piracy of IP rights is theft.

PCCW attaches great importance to the protection of IP rights and respects originality and creativity. We also believe that the media and creative industries in Hong Kong will benefit from a more updated and relevant piece of copyright legislation, so that we can outpace our competitors in the region – such as Singapore and Thailand.

C K Chan, group communications head, PCCW