Copyright amendment bill gazetted

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2022 was gazetted today and Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau will introduce the bill into the Legislative Council for first and second readings on June 8.   The Commerce & Economic Development Bureau made the announcement and emphasised that the intellectual property (IP) regime has all along been very important to Hong Kong as an international trade centre.   Updating Hong Kong's copyright regime and strengthening copyright protection in the digital environment are important parts of the strategy to develop the city into a regional IP trading centre under the National 14th Five-Year Plan.   Hong Kong's IP regime must keep abreast with the times and international norms, as well as meet its social and economic needs, the bureau stressed.   The legislative proposals include introducing an exclusive technology-neutral communication right for copyright owners in light of technological developments and introducing criminal sanctions against infringements relating to the new communication right.   The bill also aims to revise and expand the scope of copyright exceptions to allow use of copyright works in certain common Internet activities.   Additionally, it proposes to introduce "safe harbour" provisions to provide incentives for online service providers to co-operate with copyright owners in combatting online piracy and to provide reasonable protection for their acts.   The other key area covered in the legislative proposal includes the introduction of two additional statutory factors for the court to consider when assessing whether to award additional damages to copyright owners in civil cases involving copyright infringements.   The Government conducted a three-month public consultation on updating Hong Kong's copyright regime in November 2021.   The bureau noted that the majority of respondents agree that there is an imminent need for Hong Kong to update the copyright regime and generally support the Government's key legislative proposals.   It added that it will continue to engage stakeholders and solicit LegCo's support during the legislative amendment exercise to secure passage of the bill as soon as possible.
http://dlvr.it/SR8872

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