Copyright Laws Essay

968 Words4 Pages
“An Act Of Encouragement of Learning” , these words from the Statute of Anne, the first ever copyright law enacted in 1710, best describe what should be the spirit of copyright laws in any country. These laws must protect the creators of different works to ensure “the encouragement of learned men to compose”. On the other hand there is also a need to ensure that these laws do not become a hurdle in the growth of new ideas. The attempt to maintain a balance between the above mentioned aspects has led to a long standing debate, heightened by the exponential boom in technology in recent years. This paper aims at analysing the different sections as well as the essence of copyright laws in Hong Kong and discussing whether or not they succeed in protecting the rights of owners while promoting creativity at the same time. Copyright laws in Hong Kong have multiple facets. One is regarding the ownership of copyright works. This section defines who the owner is in case of different copyright works, like the producer for sound recordings or the author for literary works etc. This section also goes into details about what must be done in cases of exceptions. One such exception is commissioned work where even though the ownership is determined through a contract the commissioner has “ the power to restrain any exploitation of the commissioned work for any purpose against which he could reasonably take objection.” This attention to detail and attempt to cover all possibilities is commendable as it tries to look out for the interests of all parties involved in the creation of a work. The duration of copyright extends to fifty years after the death of the copyright owner. This not only covers the lifetime of the owner but also his next generat... ... middle of paper ... ...asic copyright law even browsing on the internet can be construed as infringement because a local copy gets saved in the history of the computer while browsing. However s65 allows for incidental copying while browsing the internet. Similar amendments tailor-made for the internet must be introduced in the law. Secondary infringement under Hong Kong’s Copyright Ordinance states that even if the accused did not get any commercial benefits from the infringement he/she will face the same criminal consequences as someone who did gain commercial benefits from the infringement. This I believe is harsh and to an extent unfair. Even though in both scenarios the infringers would have committed an offence and must be held liable I strongly feel that since in the previous case there commercial benefit reaped from the infringement the consequent punishment must also be lesser.
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