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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Revamp of Copyright?


FADE IN:

INT. CLUB HOUSE - DAY

Sitting on a sofa, PETER flips through a newspaper. The title of an editorial gets Peter's attention.

PETER (V.O.)

Oh, "Revamp of copyright

laws long overdue"?

FLASHBACK

INT. OFFICE - DAY 1988

A GENTLEMAN#1 (50s) talks with Peter (34).

GENTLEMAN#1

There's a lot of work for

Law Reform Commission's

Copyright Subcommittee,

I'd like you to become a

joint secretary.

Peter nods.

INT. LAW LIBRARY - DAY 1988

Looking at thick books on copyright on a shelf, Peter ponders.

PETER (V.O.)

I read that copyright is

lawyers' law ie even lawyers

don't get it. How could I do

it in a structured manner?

The title of a thick book gets Peter's attention.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

"International Copyright and

Neighbouring Rights"? I got

two LLMs in international law

but haven't learned anything

on international copyright.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

As a common law lawyer, I've

never heard of neighbouring

rights at all! How interesting!

Okay, let me ensure Hong

Kong's copyright law reform

options are consistent with

international standards.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

GENTLEMAN#2 (40s) speaks to GENTLEMAN#3 (30s) and Peter.

GENTLEMAN#1

Hong Kong is taking a high

profile in the GATT-TRIPS

negotiations. I need professional

support in Geneva, and advice

from capital from time to time.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.)

So, apart from Hong Kong's

copyright law reform work,

I also contributed to Hong

Kong's positions in the GATT-

TRIPS negotiation process.

My distinct contribution in

the final text is Footnote 1

to the TRIPS Agreement!

FLASH BACK

INT. HKU MOOT COURT - NIGHT

A forum setting. GENTLEMEN on stage. GENTLEMAN#4 poses questions to Peter.

GENTLEMAN#4 What do you think about

Hong Kong's IP regime in

the Asian context?

MONTAGE OF PETER'S OBSERVATIONS IN DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT STANDARDS

A/ INT. WIPO CONFERENCE ROOM IN GENEVA - DAY (1992)

Crowded. Peter sits with the United Kingdom delegation. We see a document on the table entitled: "The Challenge of Copyright In the Digital Age". Later, when there are fewer souls, Peter uses a camera on tripod to take a selfie.

PETER (V.O.)

As Assistant Director of

Intellectual Property, this's

my first appearance in

a United Nations'

Specialized Agency.

B/ INT. WIPO CONFERENCE ROOM IN GENEVA - DAY (1993-1995)

Crowded. Peter mingles with DELEGATES and the SECRETARIAT before and after conferences.

C/ INT. WIPO CONFERENCE ROOM IN GENEVA - DAY & NIGHT (DECEMBER, 1996)

Entrance. LADIES and GENTLEMEN including Peter are anxious to get printouts from the secretariat.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Great! I've got of copy of

the to-be-agreed international

copyright standards! I've

only six months to turn them

into the copyright law of

Hong Kong.

END MONTAGE

PETER (Cont'd)

Hong Kong's main copyright

law was passed on 27 June

1997. The WIPO Director-

General read about it in an

International Herald Tribune

report that I said Hong Kong had

incorporated the provisions

of the Internet Treaties 1996

while flying to Hong Kong to

witness its return to the

motherland.

Pausing.

PETER (Cont'd)

Not only that he was very

pleased, the international

copyright community also

had a good first impression

of Hong Kong, citing

Hong Kong's copyright

regime as a model for Asia

to follow.

Pausing.

PETER (Cont'd)

Once you've got the first

good impression, you can't

be very wrong...

RETURN TO PRESENT

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

I was very pleased that since 2006, the Government

has heeded my advice and

hasn't given in to the popular

demands for wide and wild

copyright exceptions as

they're inconsistent with

international standards.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Now the European copyright

norms protecting the labour,

skill, and judgment of creators

rather than allowing social-

media to free-ride on them

is something that I can

support as a copyright

legal policy perspective!

Peter continues to read the small prints of the editorial.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Relatively speaking, the

revamp is long overdue,

just because there wasn't

the right public policy

reason to change!

INT. STUDY - DAY

Peter types energetically on his computer. He then selects an image, featuring his speaking on a podium against a backdrop photo on a screen, depicting Peter as a United Kingdom delegate.

PETER (V.O.)

The international copyright

community then was really

visionary. Regional and

domestic stakeholders are

fair followers!

FADE OUT. The End

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