English Books Seized by Hong Kong Customs

Following a tip off from the public, six suspects were arrested by Hong Kong Customs in April 2014 for allegedly selling fake English books.

Customs seized 500 books, three computers and 3 photocopiers worth up to HKD117,000 from a children’s learning institution, where the three directors and three receptionists were arrested. The suspected case of copyright infringement, involved selling infringing books as course materials at below half price of the genuine books. The learning institute mainly provided English learning courses for children and offered to sell the infringing books to parents across its four branches in Hong Kong.

Under the Hong Kong Copyright law, it is an offence to make or sell an infringing copy and upon conviction, offenders could face imprisonment for up to four years with a fine of HKD50,000 for each infringing copy.

Business owners should obtain relevant licences from copyright owners and prevent staff from making or selling infringing copyright work, lest the serious penalties of copyright infringement in Hong Kong could come into play for the business owners and their employees.

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