Dare Violate a Copyright in Hong Kong? A Boy Scout May Be Watching Online
Movie and song copiers beware: use an Internet discussion site in Hong Kong to violate copyrights and you may be turned in to law enforcement authorities by an 11-year-old Boy Scout.
Starting this summer the Hong Kong government plans to have 200,000 youths search Internet discussion sites for illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies, and report them to the authorities. The campaign has delighted the entertainment industry, but prompted misgivings among some civil liberties advocates.
[...] Local news reports are unfair in suggesting that the government is recruiting young people to spy on others, Mr. Tam added. â€œWe are not trying to manipulate youths and get them into the spy profession. What we are just trying to do is arouse a civic conscience to report crimes to the authorities.â€
Unlike mainland China, which conducts periodic crackdowns on illegally copied movies at the insistence of Western countries, Hong Kong has a fairly good reputation for banning everything from counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags to pirated DVDâ€™s. But the program is making some here nervous. Emily Lau, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said that the government should release more details of the program to the public for debate before proceeding, and should be particularly wary of having children report offenders to law enforcement.
â€œPublic education I support, but to get young kids to do the reporting?â€ she said. â€œI feel uneasy about it.â€