Wednesday, 18 October 2006

The Hong Kong Recording Industries announce new wave of actions to curb illegal music file sharing

(“IFPI (HKG)”) has been part of the international campaign since November 2005. There have now been more than 13,000 legal actions that have taken place outside of the United States. As a second wave of its effort in the fight against the online infringers, IFPI (HKG) has obtained a court disclosure order against 37 uploaders of infringing music files and has already sent out ‘cease and desist’ letters to them. IFPI (HKG) will commence legal proceedings against those who refuse or fail to settle within a prescribed time. IFPI (HKG) expects that the average legal settlement sum will be in line with the international average of about HK$ 33,000.00 with the exception of a few cases where over 1,000 to 5,000 songs were offered for uploading if the cases are settled before commencement of legal action. These settlement sums obtained hardly cover IFPI (HKG)’s legal and operational costs. However the amount of the settlement sums will be much higher for those cases to be resolved by way of litigation as substantial legal costs will be incurred. Therefore we urge the infringers of this wave do consider hard to settle the case with us at the earliest opportunity as our primary focus is to curtail the on-line infringing activities IFPI (HKG) also welcomes a remark from Deputy High Court Judge L.Chan that the costs of enforcing against online infringers are high and the legal process is cumbersome. The judge also said that the recording industry should suggest to the legislature how this situation could be improved. IFPI (HKG) would be pleased to take up this suggestion and discuss the issue with CITB.
At the start of this campaign in November 2005, IFPI (HKG) stated its priority focus would be to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the online infringement. A recent survey conducted by IFPI (HKG) in partnership with Lingnan University indicates that this campaign has had a large degree of success. The survey indicates that 74.7 per cent of the respondents were aware of the legal actions against online infringers. Four out of five (83%) of the said respondents supported IFPI (HKG)’s legal action against infringers and 66.7 per cent thought that the legal action was effective in the reduction of p2p illegal file-sharing. Yet the survey also showed that 25 per cent of people can be considered as “hardliners” who would continue to infringe irrespective of their knowledge of its illegality and of IFPI (HKG)’s legal actions. This group of people will be targeted in this wave of action and in successive campaigns. IFPI (HKG) will also use new technology to investigate the BitTorrent type of systems for illegal file-sharing and will commence legal action against users of BitTorrent type of systems who carry on such infringing activities within months. We hereby urge the people not to use BitTorrent type of systems for illegal file-sharing in order to avoid getting into legal troubles.
The survey indicated that schools must play a crucial role in educating both the youth and the children of Hong Kong in the respect of intellectual property rights and the attitude of schools has been a great influence on the success of IFPI (HKG)’s education campaign. The schools should take a more positive role in bringing to the attention of their students regarding the seriousness of copyright infringement. Gary Chan, the representative of the Committee of IFPI (HKG) says:
Illegal file-sharing is hurting the music industry by reducing the revenues available to invest in the next generation of artists. They are also opening their computer to possible infiltration by viruses, software and malware.”
“To those who are infringing copyright on the internet we say stop now or you risk being on the end of a law suit. To the parents of Hong Kong we say check what your children are doing on the family computer to ensure they are not going to get you involved into legal action or spreading your private files to the world.”

IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, has today announced in London that the industry has entered into the sixth wave of its international campaign against large scale uploaders involved in illegal music file-sharing. More than 8,000 new cases have been launched in 17 countries and more than 2,300 people have already paid the price for illegal music file-sharing, with the average settlement sum before the issuance of any legal action being €2,349. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Ltd.

(“IFPI (HKG)”) has been part of the international campaign since November 2005. There have now been more than 13,000 legal actions that have taken place outside of the United States. As a second wave of its effort in the fight against the online infringers, IFPI (HKG) has obtained a court disclosure order against 37 uploaders of infringing music files and has already sent out ‘cease and desist’ letters to them. IFPI (HKG) will commence legal proceedings against those who refuse or fail to settle within a prescribed time. IFPI (HKG) expects that the average legal settlement sum will be in line with the international average of about HK$ 33,000.00 with the exception of a few cases where over 1,000 to 5,000 songs were offered for uploading if the cases are settled before commencement of legal action. These settlement sums obtained hardly cover IFPI (HKG)’s legal and operational costs. However the amount of the settlement sums will be much higher for those cases to be resolved by way of litigation as substantial legal costs will be incurred. Therefore we urge the infringers of this wave do consider hard to settle the case with us at the earliest opportunity as our primary focus is to curtail the on-line infringing activities IFPI (HKG) also welcomes a remark from Deputy High Court Judge L.Chan that the costs of enforcing against online infringers are high and the legal process is cumbersome. The judge also said that the recording industry should suggest to the legislature how this situation could be improved. IFPI (HKG) would be pleased to take up this suggestion and discuss the issue with CITB.

At the start of this campaign in November 2005, IFPI (HKG) stated its priority focus would be to raise public awareness of the seriousness of the online infringement. A recent survey conducted by IFPI (HKG) in partnership with Lingnan University indicates that this campaign has had a large degree of success. The survey indicates that 74.7 per cent of the respondents were aware of the legal actions against online infringers. Four out of five (83%) of the said respondents supported IFPI (HKG)’s legal action against infringers and 66.7 per cent thought that the legal action was effective in the reduction of p2p illegal file-sharing. Yet the survey also showed that 25 per cent of people can be considered as “hardliners” who would continue to infringe irrespective of their knowledge of its illegality and of IFPI (HKG)’s legal actions. This group of people will be targeted in this wave of action and in successive campaigns. IFPI (HKG) will also use new technology to investigate the BitTorrent type of systems for illegal file-sharing and will commence legal action against users of BitTorrent type of systems who carry on such infringing activities within months. We hereby urge the people not to use BitTorrent type of systems for illegal file-sharing in order to avoid getting into legal troubles. 

The survey indicated that schools must play a crucial role in educating both the youth and the children of Hong Kong in the respect of intellectual property rights and the attitude of schools has been a great influence on the success of IFPI (HKG)’s education campaign. The schools should take a more positive role in bringing to the attention of their students regarding the seriousness of copyright infringement. Gary Chan, the representative of the Committee of IFPI (HKG) says:

Illegal file-sharing is hurting the music industry by reducing the revenues available to invest in the next generation of artists. They are also opening their computer to possible infiltration by viruses, software and malware.”

“To those who are infringing copyright on the internet we say stop now or you risk being on the end of a law suit. To the parents of Hong Kong we say check what your children are doing on the family computer to ensure they are not going to get you involved into legal action or spreading your private files to the world.”