HK Magazine Archive

Know Your Copyrights

The government is facing an uphill battle to pass the Copyright Amendment Bill, which intends to protect the interests of the film, TV and music industries. Critics fear it will threaten freedoms of speech and creation, and have dubbed the bill the “Internet Article 23,” after 2003’s hugely unpopular and abandoned national security clause. But what will the new laws mean? Let our totally unqualified legal team show you the ropes.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 December, 2015, 11:08am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:54pm

Scenario I
Question: I have written and recorded a song all about how much I adore Chief Secretary Carrie Lam. A popular Carrie Lam fansite, “Lam’s Lads,” has taken this song without permission and it now plays whenever anyone visits their website. Do I have grounds to sue?
Answer: Yes, because anyone who creates a site with an auto-loading theme song deserves to be broken on the wheel of the legal system.

Scenario II
Question: I wish to take a photograph of Financial Secretary John Tsang I found on his official site and superimpose it onto an explicit piece of pornographic material. Am I allowed to do this?
Answer: You are not permitted to do this, unless you happen to be the originator of the pornographic work. Have you considered approaching John Tsang to see if he might be open to starring in a tastefully made docu-drama entitled “Financial Surplus Sluts 23?”

Scenario III
Question: I wish to pirate the new season of hit drama “Game of Thrones” when it airs in April. Am I allowed to do this?
Answer: This is illegal and we cannot condone this behavior in any way. Please take this USB stick and load on all of the episodes you just downloaded in high definition so that we may, um, examine exactly how illegal it really is.

Scenario IV
Question: I want to make fun of Chief Executive CY Leung, but I fear I will not be able to do so if I cannot use his likeness. What do I do?
Answer: There are exemptions if your work falls into the realms of pastiche or parody. As you are almost certainly not a funny person, we suggest that you leave it to the experts. That’s us.

Scenario V
Question: I am a Legco member and have been asked to attend a meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. As it is some kind of convention, I intend to cosplay as Chinese president Xi Jinping. I have the perfect suit picked out and everything. Is this acceptable?
Answer: Remember to yell, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!” as you are dragged away by security forces.