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Biz urges strong antipiracy measures

Media groups bond against bootleggers

HONG KONG — You can do more.

That is the message a film industry group is sending the local government on the piracy that is plaguing creative businesses.

It comes in a submission paper compiled by the territory’s film companies, trade orgs, filmmakers, homevid distribs and local theater chains in response to the government’s review of the copyright ordinance.

“This is the first step,” said Nansun Shi, senior adviser for Mandarin Entertainment and a veteran producer.

Shi was the organizer of an emergency taskforce that is looking into issues that ail the struggling local film industry, including piracy.

Shi reiterated that the government is insisting on civil action against those who download movies, but the industry wants criminal penalties against the end user.

The paper also urged caution regarding the government’s suggestion of a quantitative test to ascertain the amount of work that can be copied for fair use. The industry argued that the measure can’t be applied to all media, saying you might be able to copy 10% of a book, but not 10% of a film.

The group suggested the government should look at the role and responsibility of network service providers and Web site or newsgroup hosts.

While most people identified downloading a movie for free as a copyright infringement, about 37% of the 1,520 people surveyed by the Asia-Pacific Research Institute of Chinese University still download movies.

“Infernal Affairs” helmer Andrew Lau sounded this warning: “In one to two years the industry will disappear if piracy continues. … We’re asking the government to put a lot of emphasis on this problem.”

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