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Copyright in the Cyberspace FAQ

Prevention of Copyright Piracy Ordinance

The Ordinance sets out a statutory licensing scheme for the manufacture of optical discs in Hong Kong. The Ordinance also stipulates that all optical discs produced in Hong Kong have to be permanently marked with a code indicating their source of manufacture.

The Ordinance also contains extensive enforcement provisions. It empowers Customs officers to better monitor optical disc manufacturing plants in Hong Kong and prevents them from being used for copyright infringing activities.

The main provisions of the Ordinance are:

1. All business involved in the production of optical discs in Hong Kong will be required to obtain a licence from the Commissioner of Customs and Excise.
2. Manufacturing optical disc in Hong Kong without a valid licence from the Commissioner is an offence punishable with a maximum fine of HK$500,000 and to imprisonment for up to two years on first conviction. The maximum penalties will be doubled for second and subsequent convictions.
3. All optical discs manufactured in Hong Kong must bear a unique manufacturer's code indicating their source of manufacture. The codes will be assigned by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise. Fines of up to $100,000 and up to 2 years of imprisonment for producing optical discs that do not have the manufacturer's code marked on them.
4. Customs officers will have the power to inspect all licensed premises at all reasonable times without a warrant. They can seize, seal or detain any items in connection with offences under the Ordinance.
5. The Commissioner will keep a register on licenses and information on the register will be accessible to the public.

The Ordinance will help Customs identify the factories for the manufacture of optical discs, empower them to inspect these factories and ensure that the production of optical discs in these factories is lawful.