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Publications and Press Releases > Consultation Documents > Does Hong Kong need to comply with international obligations?

Does Hong Kong need to comply with international obligations?

What international obligations the Government needs to comply with? Can the Government exempt parody from civil and criminal liabilities without specifying any qualifying conditions?

  • The provision of any copyright exception/exemption must be in full compliance with our international obligations.
  • Article 61 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) of the World Trade Organization provides that members shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of wilful copyright piracy on a commercial scale. In accordance with Article 13 of the TRIPS Agreement, the Government must ensure that copyright exception shall comply with the “three-step test”:
    1. exception is confined to “special cases”;
    2. exception does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work; and
    3. exception does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the copyright owner.
  • If we provide for copyright exception/exemption for parody without specifying qualifying conditions, we would not be able to meet the requirements of international copyright treaties and to achieve our policy objective to balance copyright protection and freedom of expression.