Hong Kong – CASBAA, the Asia-Pacific Association of the pay-TV industry, has urged the Hong Kong legislature to end a decade of delay and pass amendments to Hong Kong’s copyright law to give content creators and owners the right – at least in theory – to authorise electronic dissemination of their content.

At the same time, the Association – with membership including “globally-renowned broadcasters and news organisations with a strong vested interest in protecting creative and political expression” – said that worries that the amendments could represent “some sort of threat to free and open political expression” are off target. The comments came in a submission to the legislative committee considering the Amendments.

“Hong Kong citizens may have reasons to be concerned about protecting their rights of free expression from challenges, but the Copyright Amendments are not such a challenge,” said CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter. “We are aware of no other copyright regime with exceptions and limitations that are more protective of freedom of political expression than the proposed Hong Kong approach, and we think that the Legislature needs to get on with the important business of passing this bill.”

Chief Policy Officer John Medeiros noted that CASBAA – along with other copyright industry groups – has been pressing for improvements in Hong Kong’s law for years. In the decade since the government began this process, he said, “The world of TV has been transformed. Old copyright laws never foresaw the degree to which broadband connections can be used to bring huge quantities of pirated digital content to every home in Hong Kong from places where copyright protection is weak.”