Opposition to `internet Article 23' gathers steam - The Standard
More than 50,000 netizens have signed a petition opposing the copyright amendment bill dubbed "internet Article 23" ahead of its second reading at the Legislative Council next Wednesday.
This comes as 23 groups including Scholarism and Umbrella groups Progressive Lawyers Group and Youngspiration said they would attend a gathering tomorrow to oppose the bill.
Initiated by the Copyrights and Derivative Works Alliance and Keyboard Frontline, the petition calls for the government to broaden copyright exemptions to all user- generated content instead of limiting them to parody, satire, caricature, pastiche and commenting on current affairs.
It pressed pan-democratic lawmakers to veto the amendment if the government refused to adopt the recommendation.
Under the proposed bill, some types of fan works may not be exempted from prosecution by copyright owners, according to the two groups.
They include musicians who upload their singing or playing of a copyrighted song, or illustrators who draw doujinshi or amateur manga publications based on published comics.
The two groups have advocated for Hong Kong to follow the Canadian model of exempting user-generated content, but this was rejected by the government.
Glacier Kwong Chung-ching, spokeswoman of Keyboard Frontline, agreed the current law needs an update.
But she said: "Unless the government exempts all user- generated content, lawmakers should veto the amendment."
The government introduced the copyright amendment bill into Legco in 2011 to update the law in line with technological advancement, but it eventually lapsed due to lack of protection for parody.
A new amendment bill was introduced last year which included more exemptions.
One controversial point in the bill is the introduction of criminal sanctions against those who profit from copyright infringement or "prejudicially" affect the copyright owners.