為了多搜集各種各樣的意見，上個星期一香港政府舉辦了一個公共聽證會。聽證會有專門小組，讓他們表達自己的角度。政府也鼓勵公眾分享見解。創作行業的代表者自然地說政府應該更強地保護著作權，讓 ISP (Internet Service Provider 網際網路服務提供者) 主動控制聯落網，而 ISP 代表者回答他們不喜歡侵犯著作權卻沒資源監督。他們擔心新政策會提高作戰費用，無法繼續下去。
最有意思的交鋒是學生和商人之間的。那個學生是維基媒體的志願者。他相信提出的例外未免太微弱了。沒有強的例外就無法發展像創用 CC 支持的 remix/remake。另一方面，國際唱片業協會香港部（IFPI) 的總裁認為香政府不要采取太多的例外，要不然網民會有一些有害的習慣。在我看來那兩個人體現爭執的精神。整個會政府安靜地觀察，沒提出自己的想法。
幾天後，我跟 IFPI 和政府官員開會了，問問他們對改良的過程有什麼看法。IFPI 覺得過程很慢，案例通過的時候傷害可能已經太多。政府要很仔細地寫法例，避免輕率的錯誤。2000年香港政府通過了一個批評的法律，讓擁有侵犯的著作就是犯罪。所以因為軟件的執照是地區的，去香港的旅客可以使算是違反法律。為了避免一樣的比理想的結果，香港政府現在要考慮所有的方面，才敢采取新的措施。
Different Perspectives: Copyright Reform in Hong Kong
Hello everyone! My name is Mark, and I’ve been an intern with CC Taiwan this summer. I go to school at Princeton University and study technology policy, which naturally draws me to the same issues CC Taiwan works on.
This summer I had the chance to travel to Hong Kong. While there, I spoke with several individuals about current efforts to update copyright law to account for digital technology. The debate has brought up a number of important issues, and I’d like to share what I observed.
Last Monday the Hong Kong government organized a public hearing with a panel of experts discussing copyright protection in a digital context, taking comments from members of the public in the audience. A representative from the creative industry naturally believed protections should be much stronger to protect the industry, requiring ISPs to do more to prevent infringement, whereas an ISP representative didn’t like copyright infringement but was worried additional requirements will drastically raise operating costs.
The most interesting exchange I noticed at the meeting was between a young student and a businessman. The student, a volunteer with Wikimedia, believed that proposed exemptions for use of copyrighted material were too narrow, not allowing for parody and the remix/recreation that Creative Commons encourages. In response, the CEO of the International Federation for the Photographic Industry (IFPI) in Hong Kong said that the government shouldn’t provide too many exceptions, or else users will get accustomed to using copyright content in ways that harm copyright holders commercially. In many ways they illustrated the deep divide lawmakers are trying to cross while writing legislation. Throughout this whole meeting, the government acted as an observer, trying to collect a complete view of the different nuances of the debate.
Later in the week I spoke with both IFPI and government officials, asking their viewpoints on how the reform process is moving. IFPI feels the process is taking too long, and that by the time legislation is passed the economic damage will be too much. The government wants caution so it doesn’t pass flawed legislation as it has previously. In 2000, the Hong Kong government passed a bill a widely-criticized bill that made possession of infringing works a criminal offense, which would apply to any traveler with an electronic device containing software. To prevent similar public backlash, the government wants to make sure that they hear all possible feedback and think of all scenarios before passing any legislation.
The debate in Hong Kong is playing out across countless jurisdictions around the world. To what extent are ISPs responsible for infringement that happens on their networks? How big is the public interest in otherwise “infringing” uses of copyrighted works? How much should copyright holders be held responsible for protecting their own content and adjusting with the market? These questions will remain for the foreseeable future, but it’s important is that they are being raised and debated between different sides. Hopefully this exchanges leads us sooner to a workable solution.