Copyright protection



DateContextSummary of developmentAction
1997 - The Legislative Council formed a bills committee to scrutinize the Copyright Bill. The Bills Committee held 19 meetings [Meeting schedules] and reported to the House Committee on 13.6.97 [Report (CB(1)1842/96-97, no softcopy)]. The Bill was passed by the Council on 24.6.97. [Hansard]

The Copyright Ordinance stipulated that works transmitted on the Internet, like the works transmitted through other media, enjoyed copyright protection.

8.9.97 TI denoting Trade and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the Administration's paper which outlined the Government's strategy in the fight against copyright piracy and reported on the latest enforcement efforts and initiatives in hand. [Paper]

Having envisaged an increase in piracy through the Internet environment, the Administration pointed out that they had requested their counterparts in the United States to assist in offering training opportunities in the fight against piracy in this format. The Administration had also invited representatives from the copyright industry to brief them on developments.

20.1.99 CQ denoting Council Question Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung raised a question on protection of intellectual property rights of information on the Internet. [Hansard]
10.11.99 CQ denoting Council Question Hon MA Fung-kwok raised a question on copyright infringement on the Internet. [Hansard "page 32"]
15.2.00 TI denoting Trade and Industry Panel The Panel met the deputations and discussed with the Administration on matters relating to the verification of copyright authorizations. [Paper]

The Administration was requested to provide further information on the prevention and control of Internet privacy and infringement activities. [Minutes "page 10"]

8.6.00 TI denoting Trade and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the Administration's paper which set out the latest position on a number of issues, including prevention and control of Internet privacy, discussed at the meeting held on 15.2.00. [Paper]
4/01 - The Legislative Council passed the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2000 on 7.2.01 which introduced end-user criminal liability in the Copyright Ordinance. The Bill came into effect on 1.4.2001. [Papers relating to the Bill]
9.4.01 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the Administration's paper which reported on measures taken by the Government in implementing the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000 (the Amending Ordinance), and the enforcement of the Ordinance. [Paper]

The Administration advised that the amendments would not affect the exemptions for educational activities under the Copyright Ordinance. These activities included extracting copyright works for uploading onto the intranet of a school for use within the school, and downloading from the Internet articles and pictures for the purpose of instruction.

12.4.01 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel met deputations and discussed with the Administration to follow up on the enforcement action following the commencement of the Amending Ordinance.

Noting that the enactment of the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000 had aroused much concern and heated discussion in the community, the Administration had decided to draft a simple amendment bill with the aim of suspending the implementation of the Ordinance concerning criminal provisions as they affected works in the printing media including newspapers, magazines, periodicals and books, as well as broadcasts and cable programmes, and the downloading of information from internet. But the suspension would not apply to the downloading of computer programmes, music or films from the Internet. [Statement of the Secretary for Commerce and Industry (SCI)]

19.4.01 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the draft Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Bill 2001. [Draft Bill] [Paper]

The Panel supported in principle the introduction of the Bill which suspended the application of the Amending Ordinance on the following key criminal provisions in the Copyright Ordinance insofar as they applied to -
 works in the printed media
 works in sound or television broadcast; and
 works downloaded from internet.
subject to some exceptions. The exceptions included computer programs, visual or audio recordings of music or songs, television dramas and movies. The works excluded generally have substantial commercial value and are not normally 'information' disseminated in enterprises or schools. Moreover, piracy of these works in Hong Kong and elsewhere is rampant.

The Panel also recommended that a subcommittee should be form under the House Committee (HC) to examine the draft Bill in detail and the proposed fast-track legislative process for the scrutiny of the Bill.

20.4.01 HC denoting House Committee HC agreed to set up a subcommittee to scrutinize the draft Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Bill 2001. The Subcommittee held 2 meetings [Meeting schedule] and reported its deliberations to HC on 4.5.01 [Report] .
4.5.01 HC denoting House Committee HC agreed that a bills committee should be formed to take over the work of the Subcommittee to scrutinize the Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Bill 2001.

The Bills Committee held 5 meetings [Meeting schedules] and reported its deliberations to HC on 15.6.01 [Report].

20.6.01 COU denoting Council Meeting The Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Bill 2001 was passed by the Council on 20.6.01. The Ordinance provides for the suspension to be lifted on 31.7.02 or on such other date as SCI may specify by notice published in the Gazette subject to the approval of the Legislative Council. [Hansard "page 111"]
1.11.01 PRESS denoting Press Release The Administration published a consultation document entitled "Review of Certain Provisions of the Copyright Ordinance" [LegCo Brief] to solicit the views of the public on improving certain provisions of the Copyright Ordinance. The two-month consultation ended on 21.12.01 [Press release].
4.2.02 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed members on the legislative proposals arising from the consultation "Review of Certain Provisions of the Copyright Ordinance". [Paper]
25.3.02 FC denoting Finance Committee At the special Finance Committee (FC) meeting, SCI informed members of the Administration's decision to make permanent arrangement of the Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Ordinance 2001 and to further improve other provisions. [SCI's speaking note]
25.6.02 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the Administration's proposal to extend the suspension period of the Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Ordinance 2001 for one year from 31.7.02 to 31.7.03. The rationale of the extension was to ensure that LegCo would have sufficient time to scrutinize the amendment bill to make the suspension arrangements permanent, the draft of which was under preparation at that moment. [Information paper]
8.7.02 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed members on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2002. One of the proposals was to make the suspension arrangements permanent. [Paper]
14.2.03 HC denoting House Committee As both the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2001 and the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2003 (formerly known as Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2002) contained provisions relating to parallel importation, HC agreed that the same Bills Committee should study both bills in order to avoid possible confusion and to achieve consistency in drafting. The then Bills Committee on the 2001 Bill was renamed as the Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2001 and Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2003. The Bills Committee decided to complete scrutiny of the 2001 Bill first.

The Bills Committee held 17 meetings [Meeting schedules]. It reported to HC its deliberations on the 2001 Bill in June and July 2003 and those on the 2003 Bill in March 2004.

6/03 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration issued an information paper to brief the Panel on its proposal to further extend the expiry date of the Copyright (Suspension of Amendments) Ordinance 2001 from 31.7.03 to 31.7.04 to ensure that the Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2001 and Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2003 had sufficient time to examine the 2003 Bill. [Paper]
2.7.03 COU denoting Council Meeting The Council passed the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2001 on 2.7.04 [Hansard "page 145"]
24.3.04 COU denoting Council Meeting The Council passed the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2003 on 24.3.04. [Hansard "page 83"]
25.3.04 ITB denoting Information Technology & Broadcasting Panel In connection with the discussion on "Measures to facilitate the development of film industry" at the Panel meeting, organizations attending the meeting raised concern about the increase in activities relating to making available movie products on the Internet for access and downloading through various means of transfer, in particular, the so called peer-to-peer by users without the authorization of the copyright owners concerned. The CI Panel was invited to explore the subject further.[Paper]
6/04 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel Information note on Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing and Copyright Infringement prepared by the Research and Library Services Division was circulated to members. [Paper]
7.7.04 CQ denoting Council Question Hon SIN Chung-kai raised a question on copyright protection for works in digital form. [Hansard "page 103"]
9.12.04 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel Consultation document on review of certain provisions of Copyright Ordinance [Consultation paper]
18.1.05 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the consultation document on review of certain provisions of Copyright Ordinance [Paper] [Background brief]
15.2.05 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the paper on the actions taken by the Government to combat infringing activities on peer-to peer file sharing networks. [Paper] [Extract of minutes of ITB Panel meeting on 25 March 2004]
15.6.05 CQ denoting Council Question Hon WONG Ting-kwong raised a question on registration of intellectual properties [Hansard "page 48"]
21.6.05 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the results of the consultation exercise and introduced the Administration's preliminary proposals on various copyright-related issues. [Paper] [Background brief]
19.7.05 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel met with deputations and the Administration on the preliminary proposals on various copyright-related issues proposed by the Administration.
15.11.05 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed a paper provided by the Administration which responded to the major feedbacks from stakeholder groups on the preliminary proposals and explained the Administration's proposed refinements to some of the proposals [Paper] [Background brief]
18.7.06 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the paper on the result of the Administration's study regarding members' suggestion to establish a copyright register in Hong Kong and the Administration's suggestion to put on hold its earlier proposal to prescribe overseas copyright registers by way of regulation made under the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528) [Paper]
3/06 to 6/07 BC denoting Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2006 The Administration introduced the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2006 into the LegCo on 29.3.06 and a Bills Committee was formed on 31.3.06 to scrutinize the Bill.

The Bills Committee held 24 meetings. [Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2006]

The Bills Committee reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 8.6.07. [Report]

The Council passed the Bill on 27.6.07. [Hansard "page 117"]

22.11.06 CQ denoting Council Question Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing raised a question on the Youth Ambassador Against Internet Piracy Scheme. [Hansard "page 92"]
19.12.06 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel To enhance the awareness of and respect for intellectual property rights among the business community, the Intellectual Property Department, in collaboration with the Business Software Alliance, launched the Business Software Certification Programme on 23 October 2006. The Administration briefed members on the Programme details. [Paper]
16.1.07 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the consultation document on copyright protection in the digital environment. [Paper]
12.12.07 CQ denoting Council Question Hon WONG Ting-kwong raised a question on the use of pirated software by private companies. [Hansard "page 73"]
9.1.08 CQ denoting Council Question Hon LAU Kong-wah raised a question on commencement of the rental right provisions on video discs and comic books. [Hansard "page 70"]
19.2.08 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel
The Administration briefed the Panel on:
(a)publicity and public education activities conducted by the Administration following the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007;
(b)proposed "Safe Harbour" Regulation;
(c)first List of Exceptions on Act of Circumvention;
(d)commencement timetable for provisions that were yet to come into operation; and
(e)the Administration's response to views expressed by relevant industry players on rental rights for films.
[Paper] [Administration's response to views expressed by relevant industry players on rental rights for films] [Follow-up paper]

27.2.08 CQ denoting Council Question Hon SIN Chung-kai raised a question on the protection of intellectual property rights of inventors. [Hansard "page 47"]
15.4.08 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the results of a public consultation exercise on "Copyright Protection in the Digital Environment" conducted from December 2006 to April 2007, and its preliminary proposals in this regard. [Paper] [Background brief]
28.5.08 CQ denoting Council Question Hon SIN Chung-kai raised a question on regulation of dealing in devices and provision of services which aim to circumvent technological measures applied in the protection of copyright works. [Hansard "page 85"]
16.12.08 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on follow-up to the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007: (a) refined proposals in relation to the copying and distribution offence under section 119B of the Copyright Ordinance for the Safe Harbour Regulation; and (b) rental rights for Comics. [Paper] [Background brief] [Follow-up paper]
18.3.09 CQ denoting Council Question Hon WONG Ting-kwong raised a question on pirated copies and parallel-imported copies of copyright works. [Hansard "page 75"]
5/09 BC denoting Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009 The Administration introduced the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009 into the LegCo on 24 April 2009 and a Bills Committee was formed on 8 May 2009 to scrutinize the Bill. [Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009]

The Bills Committee reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 23 October 2009. [Report]

The Council passed the Bill on 18 November 2009. [Hansard "page 152"]

17.11.09 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the its refined proposals to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment, taking into account the views that had been received regarding its preliminary proposals, and the latest developments in overseas jurisdictions. [Paper] [Background brief] [Follow-up paper]
19.1.10 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel met with the Administration and received deputations' views on copyright protection in the digital environment. [Paper] [Background brief]
10.11.10 CQ denoting Council Question Hon WONG Ting-kwong raised a question on implementation of the provisions of the Copyright Ordinance concerning the copying and distribution offence. [Hansard "page 107"]
6/11 BC denoting Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2011 The Administration introduced the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2011 into the LegCo on 3 June 2011 and a Bills Committee was formed on 17 June 2011 to scrutinize the Bill. [Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2011]

The Bills Committee reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 20 April 2012. [Report]

29.6.11 CQ denoting Council Question Hon Albert CHAN Wai-yip raised a question on disputes on copyright infringement of news reports among the media. [Hansard "page 131"]
13.7.11 CQ denoting Council Question Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun raised a question on selling of "parallel-imported products" as products imported by local dealers. [Hansard "page 133"]
13.6.12 CQ denoting Council Question Hon Ronny TONG Ka-wah raised a question on Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007. [Hansard "page 36"]
21.5.13 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the development of intellectual property trading in Hong Kong, and the formation of the Working Group on intellectual property trading as a dedicated initiative on this front. [Paper] [Background brief]
16.7.13 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration launched a three-month public consultation exercise on the treatment of parody under the copyright regime on 11 July 2013. The Administration briefed the Panel on the consultation issues and arrangements. [Paper] [Background brief] [Letter from Hon Claudia MO] (Chinese version only)
10.10.13 PRESS denoting Press Release The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau issued a press release on the extension of the public consultation period on the treatment of parody under the copyright regime for one month until 15 November 2013. [Press release]
4.11.13 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel met with the Administration and received deputations' views on the treatment of parody under the copyright regime. [Paper] [Background brief]
17.12.13 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the following issues:

(a)the outcome of the public consultation exercise on the treatment of parody under the copyright regime; [Paper] [Background brief]

(b)proposed creation of a supernumerary post of Assistant Director of Intellectual Property in the Intellectual Property Department for a period of three years with effect from 1 April 2014 to carry out the work relating to the implementation of the "original grant" patent system and strengthening the promotion of Hong Kong as an intellectual property trading hub. [Paper] [Background brief]


15.1.14 ESC denoting Establishment Subcommittee ESC endorsed a creation of one supernumerary post of Assistant Director of Intellectual Property (DL2) in the Intellectual Property Department for three years with effect from 1 April 2014 to carry out the work relating to the implementation of the "original grant" patent system and the strengthening of the promotion of Hong Kong as an intellectual property trading hub. [Paper]
21.2.14 FC denoting Finance Committee FC approved the staffing proposal endorsed by ESC on 15 January 2014. [Paper]
18.3.14 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the Government's proposed directions on treatment of parody, with a view to formulating appropriate legislative proposals to update Hong Kong's copyright regime in the digital environment. [Paper] [Background brief]
20.5.14 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the following issues:

(a)the progress of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Trading since May last year.; [Paper] [Background brief]

(b)redevelopment of the Electronic Processing Systems, E-filing System and Online Search System of the Intellectual Property Department to meet evolving customer, operational and information technology requirements. [Paper]


6/14 BC denoting Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2006 The Administration introduced the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 into the LegCo on 13 June 2014 and a Bills Committee was formed on 20 June 2014 to scrutinize the Bill. [Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014]

The Bills Committee reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 13 November 2015. [Report]

12.7.14 FC denoting Finance Committee FC approved a new commitment of $67,114,000 for the redevelopment of the Electronic Processing Systems, E-filing System and Online Search System of the Intellectual Property Department. [Paper]
17.3.15 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the proposal for a new set of Copyright Tribunal Rules to modernize the practice and procedures of the Copyright Tribunal and the views received in the two-month consultation exercise conducted from 9 December 2014 to 9 February 2015. [Consultation paper] [Paper] [Background brief]
19.5.15 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the latest progress of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Trading. [Paper] [Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Trading released in March 2015] [Background brief]
15.3.16 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration briefed the Panel on the latest progress on the promotion of intellectual property trading in Hong Kong. [Paper] [Background brief]
23.1.17 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Administration issued an information paper on "Update of the Copyright Tribunal Rules", which seeks to keep members posted of the finalized new Copyright Tribunal Rules. [Paper]
3/17 SUBC denoting Subcommittee on Copyright Tribunal Rules The Copyright Tribunal Rules ("the Rules") were gazetted on 24 February 2017 and tabled at the Legislative Council meeting of 1 March 2017 for negative vetting. The Rules came into operation on 1 May 2017. A Subcommittee was formed on 17 March 2017 to scrutinize the Rules. [Subcommittee on Copyright Tribunal Rules]

The Subcommittee reported its deliberations to the House Committee on 7 April 2017. [Report]

16.5.17 CI denoting Commerce and Industry Panel The Panel discussed the progress on the updating of the copyright regime relating to copyright exceptions for persons with a print disability under the Marrakesh Treaty and the Copyright Ordinance. [Paper] [Background brief] [Power-point presentation material] [Follow-up paper]


Go to Top