Hong Kong Customs yesterday (January 20) raided seven locations in North Point, Mong Kok and Yuen Long, resulting in the seizure of 140 suspected pirated fortune-telling books valued at about $6,200 in total and the arrest of seven people, aged between 37 and 54.
Acting on information concerning the sale of pirated fortune-telling books, Customs found several newspaper stands and shops selling suspected infringing fortune-telling books for the Year of Tiger after investigation.
Officers of Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau took enforcement action yesterday, targeting the retail of such fortune-telling books in the market. The seizures were made after raiding five newspaper stands and two shops in North Point, Mong Kok and Yuen Long. Six men and a woman were arrested in the operation. Among them, six were owners of newspaper stands or shops and the other was a sales assistant. They were released on bail for further investigation.
During the operation, officers found that a small quantity of genuine fortune-telling books were mixed with the pirated ones to confuse customers. The success of the case was attributed to the support and co-operation of the copyright owners of the genuine fortune-telling books. With the approach of the Lunar New Year, Customs will continue taking enforcement action against infringing activities.
Divisional Commander (Copyright Investigation), Ms Yip Wai-sim, stressed at a press briefing today (January 21) that the selling of pirated books was a serious offence. She urged the owners of newspaper stands and shops not to engage in such illegal activities and reminded members of the public to respect intellectual property rights and not to buy infringing books.
Under the Copyright Ordinance, any person selling an infringing copy of a copyright work is committing a criminal offence.The maximum penalty is imprisonment for four years and a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy.
Anyone who comes across any suspected piracy activities is encouraged to report to Customs by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.