Face Off JRA 2015: Should the Copyright Amendment Bill 2014 be passed? (Affirmative)

Face Off JRA 2015: Should the Copyright Amendment Bill 2014 be passed? (Affirmative)

The creative industry, which includes advertising, art and culture, and multimedia, is playing an increasingly important role in Hong Kong's economy.

With the rapid progress of information technology, we need to allow talent in this field to flourish. Therefore, it is important to enhance protection against online piracy.

I support the Copyright Amendment Bill 2014 because it strikes a balance between copyright protection and freedom of expression.

Copyright owners can benefit from the bill, which protects the interests of innovators while encouraging the creation of both first-hand and derivative works. People who produce derivative works such as pictures, videos and music and share them on the internet won't be prosecuted. "Under the amended bill, more derivative works can be created since they are free from legal traps," said Ada Leung Ka-lai, Hong Kong's director of intellectual property. "We target large-scale copyright infringement, not individual users."

The bill allows copyright owners to share their works electronically. It will better reflect today's digital media environment, and help send the message that respect for intellectual property rights is crucial in a modern society.

Moreover, Western countries support the new copyright bill, so more foreigners would be willing to invest in the city's creative industry.

The bill has been proposed to help bring Hong Kong's copyright laws up to international standards. It will benefit copyright owners as well as the general public whose freedom of expression will be safeguarded. For example, Stefan Asafti, a Romanian graphic designer, created "Brandversations" by switching the logos and slogans of famous brands such as Microsoft and Apple. Under the Copyright Amendment Bill 2014, this type of creativity won't be stifled. Hong Kong's legislators must pass the bill.

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