Major Speeches, Presentations and Press Releases

SCED speaks on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 at a media session in the Legislative Council Complex today (January 20):

Reporter: Mr So, Emily Lau has mentioned about your ability or inability... to find a consensus to try to reach a common ground...?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: What Emily just said is really a very typical personal attack. In the past, my colleagues and I have been working very, very hard to forge a consensus. This process has really gone on for years. This is the consensus that has been reached on this package of measures that is acceptable both to the netizens as well as to the copyright owners. And this did not come in easily. It had gone through many rounds of consultation. We have gone through all the due process in the legislature. We have gone through the Bills Committee. We have 36 Bills Committee meetings in two separate bills that we have introduced. And also my colleagues have met with netizens and other groups outside this building more than 20 times. A lot of efforts have been put into this. And so I don't really want anybody to point finger at each other. This is not helpful. This is not constructive. This is time for people of Hong Kong and this is time for our LegCo members to come together to constructively work out a solution. And the solution that to work out is very reasonable, balancing all sides.

     Regarding topics that have not been fully deliberated in the past, we believe that they should belong to the next round of consultation and not stop this bill from going forward to have our copyright system to meet international standard. To allow our copyright (system) to be updated, and this is really in the best interest for Hong Kong. And I think we should not point finger at anybody but to work together.

Reporter: (on accepting amendments to move forward)

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: What about demands on the side of copyright owners? As I said, this package that worked out is well balanced. And there are demands still made on either side. And these could not easily be settled. We are saying that let's not stop the bill from going forward. The issue that was in dispute in 2012 was parody and we have shown the public that we did do a consultation. And now we have introduced six additional exceptions to deal with this area. We have shown our good faith in this. So I have full confidence that in the next round of consultation, the people will express their views with ample opportunities. And so this is the way of a rational process and due process to go forward. And I really want to call upon all parties to really show good will as well and really have the best interest of Hong Kong in mind. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:56