The Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendment) Ordinance 2000

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has issued "The Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendment) Ordinance 2000"  which contains an amendment to the Copyright Ordinance and the Prevention of Copyright Piracy Ordinance.  This amended law is necessary because the Government of Hong Kong is intent on cleaning up the act of using copyright infringing products in business which has become a serious problem in Hong Kong. This amended law will become effective on 1 April 2001.

To assist University departments to comply with the amended Ordinance, Computer Centre has circulated a letter to all department heads and an email notice to all staff and students about guidelines on administering their software licences in accordance with legal requirements.

The government's website for publicising this amendment is at

Be sure to browse the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions) which contain many good examples and "what...if" scenarios for different kinds of circumstances to illustrate clearly what would constitute an offense after the amendment takes effect especially in ambiguous situations which were not spelt out in the law before the amendment.

For a quick reference on using properly licensed computer software, the following guidelines have been copied from the government's website:

Let us start to comply with this amended law by reviewing the software in your computer at work. Get rid of any software without a license before April 1, 2001.  If you are not sure whether a certain software has a valid license, then ask your network administrator or your computer vendor.

This material is taken from "Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000 Frequently Asked Questions" 2001 and is used with the permission of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Mabel Chau
Tel: 2859 8934

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