First Case of Suspected Copyright Infringement on Discussion Forum Detected by Hong Kong Customs Using New Monitoring System

A man was arrested by Hong Kong Customs (Customs) for uploading a large amount of suspected infringing copyright works to the internet for financial gain. The automatic monitoring system, called Lineament Monitoring System 1 Plus (LMS1+), searches discussion forums, captures evidence related to selected messages and performs automatic downloads for further analysis. LMS1+ alerts Customs officers of suspected cases to conduct a more thorough investigation. In this case, using LMS1+, the Customs officers claimed that the suspect was distributing infringing copyright works on discussion forums and was uploading the suspected infringing copyright works to cyberlockers worldwide for monetary returns.

Under the Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong, the unauthorised distribution of infringing copyright works is punishable by up to four years imprisonment and a fine of HKD50,000 for each infringing copy.

Customs set up the Electronic Crime Investigation Centre (ECIC) in 2013. The ECIC focuses on the retrieval and preservation of digital evidence and also, monitors and investigates Internet crimes. LMS1+ was jointly developed by the ECIC and the University of Hong Kong.

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