MUMBAI: The International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC) and the Hong Kong Theatres Association (HKTA) jointly conducted an anti-camcording training seminar for 80 frontline cinema staff at UA Cityplaza Cinema.
The training seminar featured the Motion Picture Association-produced anti-camcording training video – Make A Difference 2 providing practical guidelines to cinema staff on how to prevent illegal recordings and a briefing on the IFACT-GC’s Anti-Camcording Reward Scheme. Two earlier rounds of training in 2008 and 2009 raised the awareness and knowledge of 178 cinema staff.
The Anti-Camcording Reward Scheme, funds rewards to frontline cinema staff that identify and report illegal camcording. Four payments totaling HK$8,000 (around US$1,000) have been paid to staff recently acknowledging their role in stopping four camcording attempts.
Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department (HKC&ED) Copyright Investigation Division (I), Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau senior inspector K.H. Chiu gave a presentation at the seminar, explaining the legal powers of cinema staff under the Prevention of Copyright Piracy Ordinance and the proper procedures for reporting illegal camcording and shared his experience on a number of cases where attempts were made to illegally camcord movies.
"The training and cooperation between Hong Kong Customs, IFACT-GC and the HKTA has been very successful in raising awareness among the public and frontline cinema staff about the economic damage caused by illegal camcording. HKTA members are fully committed to maintaining that cooperation and working to keep illegal camcorders out of Hong Kong cinemas," said HKTA vice chairman Chui Hin-wai.
"Recent joint efforts to keep illegal camcorders out of Hong Kong cinemas have been very successful because of the support from the HKTA, HKC&ED and the public. The public have a key role in respecting and protecting the creative industries and the wealth they generate and we thank them for their continued support," said IFACT-GC executive director and general manager Sam Ho.
Since 2009 the joint efforts by the HKTA, the HKC&ED and the IFACT-GC have resulted in four people being arrested for attempting to illegally camcording movies in Hong Kong cinemas and the reduction in Hong Kong illegal camcords being used as the source for pirated optical discs; no 2009 illegal camcords have been found compared to at least nine 2008 illegal Hong Kong camcords being found on pirated optical discs.
Under Hong Kong law, a person commits an offence if they have in their possession (without lawful authority or reasonable excuse) any video recording equipment in a place of public entertainment. Anyone breaking this law may be fined up to HK$50,000 and imprisoned for up to three months. Any person convicted of illegally camcording a movie may be imprisoned for up to four years.