IFPI Press Release, March 17, 1999
Hong Kong movie, music, theater, software, retailing, broadcasting and information technology industries joined together on March 17, 1999, in a bid to raise public awareness of the rampant piracy problem in Hong Kong and to show their support in demanding the police to start immediately raiding pirate retailers.
The major event of the Anti-Piracy Day was the Anti-Piracy March, which was held in the afternoon outside the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR Government. Supported by dozens of legislators and celebrities such as actor Jacky Chan and singer Leo Lai, the 2,000-strong group then marched to the Central Government Office. A letter of appeal was handed to the Chief Executive Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, who has met with representatives from different industries and promised to allocate more resources to end copyright piracy.
Besides the march, local broadcasters, such as RTHK and Cable TV also conducted selective blackouts and retailers such as HMV handed out anti-piracy flyers to consumers. Seven full-page and one half-page advertisements, containing the demands of the copyright industries, also appeared in major local newspapers to bring home the message.
“We must show our solidarity to the public that we must fight piracy,” said Mr. Norman Cheng, Chairman of IFPI Hong Kong Group. As an honorary spokesman of the Anti- Piracy March, he said in his speech that rampant piracy was not just killing the recording industry but was also a valuable and irreplaceable part of the cultural heritage. “The police must start immediately to raid pirate retailers before Hong Kong turns into a piracy paradise,” said Mr. Cheng.
Regional Director of IFPI Asia Mr. J.C. Giouw said the cross-industry cooperation on piracy was unprecedented. “We want to let the public know that piracy is hurting the industry and it has a more far-reaching impact on the local culture and economy,” he said. According to figures from IFPI, the local recording industry lost HK$820 million (US$105 million) to piracy last year. Mr. J.C. Giouw estimated that the whole music industry, including other components such as karaoke and music publishing, has cost more than 3,600 jobs in 1998 because of copyright piracy.
Mr. Ricky Fung, CEO of IFPI Hong Kong Group, said the industry would continue supporting the HKSAR Government in its fight against copyright piracy. He said IFPI would respond positively to a Consultation Paper on additional legal tools to stamp out piracy issued by the HKSAR Government. However, he stressed that the Hong Kong Government should listen to the industries and allow police to be involved directly in anti-piracy enforcement.
“Hong Kong did suffer enormously during the late 1970s because of music piracy. The Government was able to root out the problem within a very short period of time by involving several law enforcement bodies. I believe this can be done again,'” according to Mr. Fung.
For further information contact:
Adrian Strain: 44 171 878 7939
Mr. Ricky Fung: 852 2865 5853