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IFPI Press Release, March 17, 1999


Hong Kong Anti-Piracy March


The Hong Kong copyright-based and other related industries will gather together today, 17 March 1999 for the Anti-Piracy March to show our discontentment at the current level of piracy in Hong Kong. The Anti-Piracy March is part of our concerted efforts to arouse public awareness and sympathy. All local theaters will also be closed for one day and the local broadcasting media will conduct selective local music blackouts today to show the solidarity of the copyright-based industries in our fight against piracy.

Copyright piracy is causing serious losses to our economy and grave damage to Hong Kong's reputation as an international trading center. We urge the public to support our appeal to the Hong Kong Government to review current policy, to open their eyes to rampant local piracy and to involve the police in raiding pirate retailers. We need the public to support our stance so that pirate products will vanish from our city.

Without public support, the Hong Kong movie industry, music industry, computer software and other related industries such as legitimate retailers will disintegrate into a disastrous situation. If the public and the Hong Kong Government allow this situation to worsen, Hong Kong will quickly become a "piracy paradise". As an advanced international city, we should not give up our copyright-based and other related industries to piracy. They are our economic strength and future.

A broad faction of the supporters listed in the attached page will participate in the Anti-Piracy March. We cordially invite the media to cover the Anti-Piracy March.

The Situation is Grave, Help Us to Survive - Stand Up Against Piracy!

The Complete List of Supporting Organizations:

Asia Television Ltd.
Blockbuster
Business Software Alliance (BSA)
Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA)
Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd. (CASH)
Hong Kong Cable Television Ltd.
Hong Kong Cinema & Theatrical Enterprises Association
Hong Kong Cinematography and Television Lighting Association
Hong Kong Fine Arts Association
Hong Kong Film Awards Association
Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild
Hong Kong Internet Service Provider Association
Hong Kong, Kowloon & New Territories Motion Picture Industry Association Ltd. (MPIA)
Hong Kong Optical Disc Manufacturers Association (HKODMA)
Hong Kong Performance Artists Guild
Hong Kong Record Merchants Association Ltd.
Hong Kong Screenwriters' Guild
Hong Kong Small & Medium Business Association, The
Hong Kong Stuntman Association
Hong Kong Theater Association
Hong Kong Video Industry Association
HMV
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)
Motion Picture Association (MPA)
Motion Picture Production Executive (HK) Association
Movie Producers & Distributors Association of Hong Kong
Movieland
Music Publishers Association of Hong Kong Ltd.
Society of Cinematographers (Hong Kong)
Society of Film Editors (Hong Kong)
Software Publishers Association (SPA)
South China Film Industry Workers Union
Television Broadcast Ltd. (TVB)

Statements of Support and Quotes

Mrs. Selina CHOW, Members of Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR. Government, "Knowledge is 'property' and piracy is a criminal act. All of us in Hong Kong have the duty to combat piracy."

Mr. Timothy FOK, Members of Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR. Government, "VCD piracy must be eradicated in order to restore Hong Kong's reputation as the Hollywood in Asia. No investor will pay for new production if the current situation is allowed to continue. Creative works will vanish from our city if we allow pirate products flooding the market. Therefore, Hong Kong must work hard to strengthen our vibrant culture. We cannot afford to be a piracy paradise."

Dr. HO Tao, Chairman of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Society, "Intellectual property is the essential element in rising the cultural standard of a society. It is a moral concept that must be respected."

Dr. Charles KAO, former Chancellor of Chinese University of Hong Kong, "Legitimate intellectual property has rising value in our information age. We must respect and protect intellectual property rights for a fair trade environment."

Mr. MA Fung-kwok, Members of Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR Government, "Intellectual property is not just about movies and music. To protect intellectual property right is the same as protecting our own creativity."

Mr. NG Kar-wai, Chancellor of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, "Hong Kong must develop our own hi-tech industry and enterprises to security our economic future. However, all the efforts put out by the government, private investors and the hi-tech community to forester the development of a hi-tech industry will be wasted if intellectual property right cannot be properly protected. Therefore, the protection of intellectual property must be taken up as a priority issue of our society. Meanwhile, piracy is also about our moral standard. We must also pay attention to the education of a new generation that respects intellectual property rights."

Mr. SIN Chung-kai, Members of Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR, Government, "Piracy must be stamped out in order to develop our software and other related information technology industries."

Mr. TO Kun-sun, Members of Legislative Council, Hong Kong SAR Government, "We must protect intellectual property right if Hong Kong is to develop our own hi-tech industry."

Blockbuster, "Blockbuster looks forward to working together with the appropriate authority to eliminate the rampant piracy of legally protected intellectual property to include the video entertainment format."

Hong Kong Optical Disc Manufacturers Association, Chairman, William Wan, "We press CDs for music, video, computer software and other content providers. Copyright piracy hurts the copyright-based industries and it also hurts the CD manufacturers as well. What I want to say is that the losses that copyright piracy brings to Hong Kong are huge and far-reaching than they appear. As long as the demand is here and the pirate outlets are there to supply pirate CDs, piracy will remain a serious problem to Hong Kong. We strongly urge the police to do something about it."

HMV, Commercial Director, Greater China and South East Asia, Stuart Fraser, "Piracy is killing music. Unless we stamp out piracy, there will be no investment in new artists. The selection of music will be drastically reduced."

IFPI Hong Kong Group, Chairman, Norman Cheng, "We believe the Government can quickly contain the rampant retail piracy. They should take positive steps immediately to stop the destruction of a once vibrant, unique domestic music industry."

Movieland, Director, Colin Grant, "Piracy has caused great damage to the video rental business. Unless we put a stop to this, piracy will put a stop to the video rental business."

Software Publishers Association, Legal Adviser for Hong Kong, Grace Chu, "Piracy does not only affect the copyright-based industry, but the entire economy of Hong Kong. A recent study revealed that the rate of piracy has a direct impact on the number of jobs that can be created or lost. According to a joint survey, by the Software Publishers' Association and the Business Software Alliance, the piracy rate was 67% in 1997 in Hong Kong. If the piracy rate could be reduced to 27%, it is estimated that the number of jobs in the software industry could be increased by 200%. If we fight piracy, more jobs will be created. If we allow piracy to continue, more jobs will be lost."

Click here for a follow up report on this event.

For further information contact:
Hanne Thorboll: 00 322 511 9208
Adrian Strain: 44 171 878 7939

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