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Copyright and works on the Internet, uploading and downloading

Copyright material sent over the Internet or stored on web servers will generally be protected in the same way as material in other media. Such protected act is referred as 'making available of copies of the work to the public' in the Ordinance. S.26 provides that this is 'to make available of copies of the work, by wire or wireless means, in such a way that members of the public in Hong Kong or elsewhere may access the work from a place and at a time individually chosen by them (such as the INTERNET).

Copyright works commonly found on the Internet are sound recordings like music (MP3 format), films (Real Player or Media Player formats), literary works (texts and passages on world wide web pages and computer programs), artistic works (photos, graphics). Uploading songs without copyright authorisation for distribution by downloading for profits or commercial gains is an criminal offence and can lead to arrest and prosecution.

Anyone wishing to put copyright material on the Internet, or distribute or download material that others have placed on the Internet, should ensure that they have the permission of the owners of rights in the material.

The law may be different in other countries so copyright material may have been put on the Internet in other countries without infringing copyright there.