Date
16 August 2017
Internet authors suffer from widespread online piracy but a lucky few manage to get their works into copyrighted print versions. Photo: Xinhua
Internet authors suffer from widespread online piracy but a lucky few manage to get their works into copyrighted print versions. Photo: Xinhua

Internet authors aren’t too happy in Hong Kong

Internet authors are complaining about the lack of a supportive intellectual property protection regime in Hong Kong and the immaturity of the local market, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.

The Hong Kong market is still way too young and in the initial stage while those in the mainland and Taiwan have already become thriving internet publishing centers, internet writers say. Some have even turned pessimistic about their prospects and decided to end their career as online authors.

Some people may find a way out if they are lucky enough to see their works well-received by readers online and prompt publishers to produce print versions of the works or move producers to adapt the material to the big screen.

Cheung Sun, whose internet novel about men’s love interests has been reproduced as a short film on the internet, said he will only make writing a pastime, never a full-fledged career.

A 17-year-old online writer who picked up a pen when he was 12 said it would be touching indeed if he can actually earn enough from writing and make a living.

“It’s weird and embarrassing to ask borrowers at public libraries to pay for the copyrights of any books they read,” the teenage writer commented in response to a recent campaign by 400-plus professionals in the publishing and writing industry. “Yet, this reflects how tight the belts of local publishers and authors are,” he added.

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