This Wednesday (24th), the government re-consulted the public on the revision of the Copyright Regulations for three months.
The content of the revised draft is based on the 2014 version. Some recording industry organizations agree with the amendment to strengthen the protection of creators, and there are second creators who worry about further exploitation of cultural creativity.
The government failed to clarify doubts during the last consultation, and the amendments were in vain. This time, they must reconcile the opinions of all parties and improve the consultation methods so that the new regulations can cater to the general trend of the world.
The government launched the revision of the Copyright Ordinance seven years ago. Because netizens and concern groups strongly opposed it, the pan-democratic lawmaker Rabu responded, and the Legislative Council shelved the motion in 2016.
In the past seven years, science and technology have been advancing with each passing day, and cultural production has become more diversified. The existing laws are outdated and are not enough to protect copyright owners, service providers and copyright users. Amendments to the laws are the general trend.
It is not unreasonable for the government to see the improvement in the relationship between the executive and the legislature and to re-raise the amendments.
The difficulty of explanation should not be underestimated
The content of this consultation retains the criminalization of infringement in the 2014 draft, and at the same time provides fair handling exemptions, including parody, satire, comic and parody purposes, commenting on current affairs and fair quotation, and maintains all exempted categories specified in the law. Service providers provide a safe harbour system for works to receive full copyright protection when they are disseminated to the public in any electronic transmission mode such as streaming. At the same time, they do not support contract overriding exemptions. The judicial blockade mechanism established by copyright.
The Government announced yesterday its consultation on amendments to the Copyright Ordinance.
The picture on the left is Huang Fulai.
(Information Services Department)
Although the amendment is based on the 2014 version, the society believes that there is a certain degree of understanding, but the method of explanation by the authorities must still meet the needs of the public, especially when the consultation document lacks examples and it is difficult for outsiders to discuss.
At the end of the last consultation, the government asked whether the cover song and live video infringement were infringements. However, the public sentiment has already opposed the motion, and the clarification of the question and answer is completely invalid.
Since there is sufficient time for consultation this time, the government should provide more information for the public to grasp, and at least update the Q&A prepared that year.
Taking cover songs as an example, the Director of the Intellectual Property Department, Huang Fulai, responded to see whether the purpose behind it falls within the scope of the exemption. This example was not where the previous consultation was concerned.
Today, cover songs are prevalent on the streets and on the Internet, and some of them receive rewards. It is believed that the degree of concern about infringement is greatly increased.
The Legislative Council deliberated the "Twenty-three Internet Articles" that year, and Panmin repeatedly asked for the number of people to "rab".
Be sure to give creators peace of mind
If citizens receive compensation for cover songs, the law requires them to pay royalties to song producers.
The department's question and answer four years ago pointed out that the audiovisual organization has authorized YouTube to re-interpret the song, and at the same time, it believes that "just expressing personal emotions or displaying talents" is not exempt.
Although Huang Fulai added that if the copyright holders themselves have no objection, the government cannot prosecute them, but this means that if they play cover songs on social media other than YouTube for profit, the copyright holders always have the right to pursue the singers, and they can also inform them. The government, let the government decide whether to raise charges.
The purpose of this example is to show that whether a pure cover song is infringing or not involves multiple conditions. The Government should not underestimate the public’s doubts about the entire amendment and the difficulty of understanding it.
There were two creators who bluntly stated that after the implementation of the "Minato National Security Law", the government revised the "Copyright Ordinance", and the creative space was under attack, and it would be difficult to produce songs that satirize the government in the future.
Indeed, Hong Kong’s political environment has changed significantly, and citizens need to explore the position of the red line, and creative creation may be restricted.
At this time, the government must convince the citizens that the implementation of the "Hong Kong National Security Law" has evidence and evidence to win the people's trust.
Since it is protected by the "Minato National Security Law", the "Copyright Ordinance" should not be burdened with any "political task." It is necessary to eliminate dissidents through provisions and only need to focus on copyright matters, so that the public can create and express with confidence.
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