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Hong Kong copyright law

Copyright law in Hong Kong to a great extent follows the English model. The handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to the People's Republic of China guaranteed Hong Kong internal autonomy, which is reflected by Hong Kong's localised intellectual property regime.

Copyright in Hong Kong under the Copyright Ordinance Cap 528 is broken down into:

  • literary, dramatic and musical works
  • artistic works
  • sound recordings
  • films
  • broadcasts
  • cable programmes
  • published editions

Copyright comes into existence at the same time as the creation: there is no formality of registration in Hong Kong.

The author of the work is deemed to be the person who creates the work (with exceptions for commissioned works and employee works). Copyright expires 50 years after the death of the author.

The Hong Kong legislation recognises moral rights ("droit d'auteur[?]").

Controversial changes criminalising the copying of materials in the course of trade were introduced in 2000: in so far as they affect printed matter, these were quickly suspended following an outcry from educational groups and consumer groups. Hong Kong is currently unique in the common law world for treating copying infringing materials differently from non-printed materials.

Copyright laws are administered by the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Government.

See also: Hong Kong trademark law

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