Digital Copyright Reform and Legal Transplants in Hong Kong
79 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010 Last revised: 23 Dec 2013
Date Written: January 18, 2010
Since the mid-1990s, countries have struggled to respond to copyright challenges created by the internet and new communications technologies. Although the law and policy debate in recent years has focused primarily on the entertainment industry’s aggressive tactics toward individual end-users, online service providers, and other third parties, a recent wave of legislative actions and lobbying efforts has rejuvenated the debate on the proper legal response to the digital copyright challenges.
Like many other jurisdictions, Hong Kong, in the past few years, has been busy exploring copyright law reform to respond to challenges created by the internet and new communications technologies. To help understand how countries reform their copyright system by transplanting laws from other jurisdictions, this article studies the ongoing digital copyright reform in Hong Kong.
Written for the symposium issue for the Conference on Innovation and Communications Law, this article begins by examining the proposals advanced in the consultation and legislative documents released by the Hong Kong government. The article explains why Hong Kong needs to be cautious about using legal transplants to reform its digital copyright laws, as the costs incurred by these transplants may ultimately outweigh their benefits.
The article concludes by advancing four key questions policymakers need to answer before they begin transplanting copyright laws from other jurisdictions. Although these questions were specially designed with the digital copyright reform in Hong Kong in mind, they are equally relevant to other jurisdictions that are responding to similar copyright challenges created by the internet and new communications technologies.
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