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A Balance in the Copyright Bill

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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The Copyright (Amendment) Bill is important in protecting the right of creator but it must be in a “just right” level of rigor to ensure the execution, said Geordie Toh, legal consultant of a network company on the general assembly of Shue Yan University yesterday.

Toh believed that a complete opened second creation would make conflict of interest to the copyright owner. For the second amendment of the copyright bill, anyone who uses others’ products to reproduce an article may face criminal prosecution without the approval of the creator. However, he worried that the ordinance may bring limitations to creations and freedoms of expression. The ordinance has to be executing with a suitable level.


Some people argue that the ordinance is suppressing the freedom of speech. Toh thought the reasonability of the amendment would depend on its specific wording. If the ordinance is too tight, the room of creativity would be stifled. On the other hand, if the ordinance is too loose, copyrights may become out of control, allows “access to personal interests on the Master’s shoulder”. It is a matter of balance between technology and media, said Toh.


Toh stated that copying is not a theft when the motivation is not to maximize ones profit. He took an example of Henry Tang’s “Chamber of Secret” spoofing poster, is a very interesting and creative second creation, to satirical the unauthorized structure of his house. However, if the picture of victims in Culture Revolution is used in second creation, Toh said it is definitely not suitable, “it is not a manner of copyright, but a manner of respecting others.”


In addition, Toh thought creators should have to co-operate with the government in the execution of the ordinance, to prove that the second creation "infringement" is making loss to the copyright owner.

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