Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2001

 

COPYRIGHT ORDINANCE

(Chapter 528)

COPYRIGHT (AMENDMENT) BILL 2001



1. Our view remains that maintaining laws which impose criminal sanctions
for possession for purposes merely incidental to business is draconian,
unwarranted and without parallel in any other part of the world. Such
criminal sanction should be repealed immediately.



2. If, contrary to our views, such criminal sanctions are to be maintained,
the matter must be approached on a broader spectrum. As a matter of priority,
there should be provisions to balance or to counter the possible abuse
of monopoly or dominant position. In particular, there should be complete
liberalization of parallel imports. Our views have been set out in the
Hong Kong Bar Associations Comments on Draft Copyright (Suspension of
Amendments) Bill 2001.



3. This Bill seeks to remove civil and criminal liabilities related to
the parallel importation of and subsequent dealings in computer software.
The proposed liberalization accords with modern principles of free trade
and consumer choice.



4. We are pleased to see that the proposed amendments adopt the spirit
of our recommendations rendered in April, 2001 - see the Hong Kong Bar
Association's Comments on Draft Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Bill
2001.



5. However, these proposed amendments are only limited to computer software.
They do not go far enough. There should be complete liberalization of
parallel imports.

 

Dated: 28th August 2002