HR & EDUCATION | Cesar Tordesillas, Hong Kong

Government boosts public education on intellectual property rights

The Customs and Excise Department, the Intellectual Property Department and the copyright industry have been jointly organising various publicity and educational events to promote respect for IPRs in the community and especially among the youth, so as to inculcate a culture of IPRs protection when they are young.

One of the educational events is the Youth Ambassador Against Internet Piracy Scheme, which was initiated by the C&ED in 2006 in collaboration with the copyright industry. Some 200 000 members of 11 youth uniformed groups have so far joined the scheme, which is aimed at promoting a sense of respect for copyright works among young people. In the past five years, different promotional activities have been organised under the scheme to raise the awareness of, and to motivate the youth ambassadors to support, IPRs protection.

The IPD, together with the C&ED, the copyright industry and different organisations in the community have also organised different anti-piracy activities to promote public respect for IPRs. The Youth Ambassador Competition on Business Software Proposal is one of these activities.

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Richard Yuen, and the Acting Director of Intellectual Property, Ms Ada Leung, today officiated at the "Youth Ambassador of the Year Award" Presentation Ceremony cum "I Pledge" Anti-Internet Piracy Publicity Show at the Auditorium of the Customs Headquarters Building.

"The Hong Kong Government attaches great importance to encouraging creativity and promoting public awareness of the need to respect and protect intellectual property rights, according to Commissioner of Customs and Excise," Mr Richard Yuen.

" We provide a level playing field for the business sector and facilitate doing business and promote creativity in Hong Kong through a robust IPRs regime, vigorous law enforcement, cross-boundary co-operation and public education," he notes.

  Mr Yuen added that Hong Kong has a comprehensive IPRs legal system and the Hong Kong Customs has been taking vigorous enforcement against IPRs infringement at all levels. "However, we cannot rely on law enforcement alone to drive out IP crimes. Public education is equally, if not more, important," he said.

The C&ED and the IPD will launch a new set of TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest (APIs) this summer to remind members of the public that selling of pirated and counterfeit goods is serious criminal offence. The APIs were premiered at the ceremony.

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