HONG KONG: The HKSAR government has introduced a law starting this
month that prohibits the copying of newspaper articles for media
monitoring without a licence. The change is expected to add substantial
costs to the PR industry.
Under an amendment to the Intellectual Property Ordinance, the practice
of photocopying and clipping articles from newspapers will be outlawed
unless a copyright licence is obtained from the copyright owner.
The amendment affects both agencies monitoring client coverage and
internal departments monitoring for their own use.
Stephen Selby, HKSAR government director of intellectual property, said
all PR agencies and departments are required 'to get themselves in
'Providing copies of newspapers, even before 1 April, was an infringing
activity,' said Selby.
Several major newspapers are understood to be in discussions to form a
licensing body to handle the issue.
Selby said: 'I hope to see the new licensing scheme come into action. In
the meantime, they (PR agencies and departments) will have to apply for
copyright from the individual newspaper owners.'
Hong Kong Public Relations Professionals' Association president Linda
Tsui said the executive committee is preparing a response to the
'The main problem will be cost. Our executive committee is exchanging
views on this,' said Tsui.