Hong Kong customs arrest two over infringing links
19th March 2010
Hong Kong Customs officers have conducted two operations connected with the copyright-infringing posting on cyberlockers in Europe and the US of music by popular local singer Eason Chan.
The first operation led to the arrest of one man suspected of uploading two pre-release tracks from Chan's latest album Time Flies to a cyberlocker site in the United States. The man also allegedly posted links to the files containing the tracks on the popular Hong Kong-based forum Discuss.com.hk. Customs officers have released the man on bail pending further investigations.
A second operation led to the arrest of another man accused of uploading the entire album to four cyberlocker sites in the Netherlands and the United States. The second suspect also allegedly posted links to the files containing the tracks on Uwants.com. The man has been charged by Hong Kong Customs.
Eason Chan is one of Hong Kong's most well-known male artistes and has won numerous awards since releasing his first album in 1996.
Cyberlockers are online hosting services that are specifically designed to store and distribute large files. When uploaded, these files can then be accessed by users through links posted elsewhere, such as in forums or blogs.
In Hong Kong, these postings of infringing cyberlockers links in many popular forums and blogs have caused record companies substantial losses. This situation is especially damaging when individual tracks or albums are leaked online prior to their designated release date and distributed without authorisation.
Jeremy Banks, director, anti-piracy at IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, says: "Many people think they can post infringing music to cyberlockers internationally without fear of any consequences. This admirably swift action by Hong Kong Customs shows how wrong they can be."
"While the international spotlight has largely fallen on illegal peer to peer file-sharing over the last few years, the industry is working closely with law enforcement to take proactive steps to combat copyright infringement through non peer to peer channel such as cyberlockers, blogs and forums as well."
Leong Mayseey, IFPI regional director, Asia, adds: "Cyberlockers, blogs and forums are used as major engines of copyright infringement in Hong Kong. We are delighted that the authorities recognise the scale of the problem and the damage it causes to our members and have taken prompt action in this case."
Duncan Wong, senior vice president of Universal Music Limited in Hong Kong, concludes: "Record companies invest heavily in recording, marketing and promoting great music. We need to be able to recoup that investment to discover and nurture the next generation of talent. If our ability to do this is undermined because people access our music illegally then there will be less money to invest in the future. We would like to thank Hong Kong Customs for their support of the Hong Kong music industry."
For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7940 or Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)