Frequently Asked Questions

What is Piracy?

Piracy is theft; it is the unauthorized taking, copying or use of copyrighted materials without the authorization of the works' owners. Authorization is often secured by paying the copyright holder. Piracy is committed in many ways, including via optical disc and videocassette, the Internet, theatrical print theft, signal theft, broadcast piracy, public performance and parallel imports.

What are the maximum penalties under the Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong? What are the maximum penalties ruled by court in Hong Kong?

Under the Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong, anyone who, without the authorization of the copyright owner, makes, sells, possesses or imports/exports an infringing copy of a copyright work for the purpose of, in the course of, or in connection with any trade or business; or distributes an infringing copy to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner (regardless of the purpose) is subject to imprisonment for up to 4 years and a fine of up to HK$50,000 for each infringing copy. Anyone involved in the making, selling, possession or import/export of an article specifically designed or adapted for making copies of a particular copyright work for commercial purposes is subject to imprisonment for up to 8 years and a fine of up to HK$500,000.

So far, the maximum imprisonment awarded by court in Hong Kong is 78 months and the maximum fine is $1.98 million.