20 October 2016
The meeting at Legco failed to resolve some of the parties' concerns about the controversial copyright bill. Photo: HEKJ
The meeting at Legco failed to resolve some of the parties' concerns about the controversial copyright bill. Photo: HEKJ

Four-party meeting on copyright bill fails to reach consensus

A meeting aimed at stopping the filibustering over the controversial Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 failed to bear fruit owing to divided opinions among the four parties present, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

The meeting at the Legislative Council Wednesday was chaired by Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Chan Kam-lam, who is chairman of the Legco bills committee regarding the bill.

Present were representatives from the Hong Kong Copyright Alliance, four netizens’ groups, lawmakers and government officials led by Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung.

So admitted that no consensus was reached after the two-hour meeting.

Chan said he had no plan to call a second meeting unless any one of the four parties would like to propose new suggestions.

He said the government should find a middle way as soon as possible.

During the meeting, netizens’ groups asked if there could be a compromise between the “fair use” principle they are asking for and the “fair dealing” principle specified in the bill.

So did not make any promises. Some lawmakers urged the government to find a solution with regard to the request.

Ah Ling, an executive member of the Concern Group of Rights of Derivative Works, walked out near the end of the meeting, saying it was a waste of time, as all the parties had only repeated their stances.

Keyboard Frontline spokeswoman Glacier Kwong Chung-ching said it is the government’s responsibility to settle all disputed points, and the group will not attend future meetings if there are no new suggestions.

Copyright Alliance spokesman Peter Lam Yuk-wah said the group will not accept the three revisions of the bill proposed by the pan-democrats, nor will it accept revisions based on articles regarding fair use in similar bills of other countries.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Bar Association said in a statement Wednesday it is in the interests of the Hong Kong community as a whole to pass the bill in its current form so that Hong Kong can meet the international standards of copyright protection.

It suggested that a study on how to enlarge the scope of exemptions for fair dealing start as soon possible and a platform be jointly established by the government and the private sector for creative commons, open data commons and open source.

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