The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

of Copyright and Privacy

​Charles Mok

Legislative Councillor

(Information Technology)

Sharing @ Dept. of Computer Science, HKBU


Do you have one of these?





Imagine...a government wants a way to

crack the PIN to all digital lock available

for fighting crime

Update 22 March:

Court Postpones Hearing in

Apple v. FBI


...but FBI says it may be able to access shooter's iPhone

without Apple's help





Privacy and Security

Free flow of information

Some of the biggest IT related debates of our times...

What is the importance of copyright and why it should be protected? create an environment where creativity can flourish and hard work of creators can be rewarded

Innovation and creativity needs to be protected...

Balance the interest of intellectual property rights owners and the society as a whole

Copyright and innovation in the digital environment

Why do internet users oppose to the 

2014 Copyright Amendment Bill?



uses of copyright works


What is acceptable has shifted with

technology and internet culture

Netizens' fear: new excemptions not sufficient to cover online activities

Who are involved here?

Traditional rights-holders

- film industry

- music industry



- ISPs

- online platform operators



- CEDB (bureau)

- IPD (deparment)

Internet users/netizens

- Copyright & Derivative Works Alliance

- Keyboard Frontline

Copyright law reform in the works since 2006...

Right of Communications

with criminal sanctions

to be introduced

i.e. technology-neutral exclusive right for copyright owners to communicate their works through any mode of electronic transmission.

Main proposed changes in 2014 amendment Bill


  • Clarified threshold for criminal liability for copyright infringement
  • New fair dealing exceptions (parody, satire, commenting current affairs, quotation, media shifting etc)
  • 'Safe harbour' for internet service providers (ISPs)


What was happening in the

Legislative Council

in the past months?


Netizens proposes more open exemptions based on the Bill

new exemptions

Government, legislators, rights-holders, advocacy groups, lawyers weighed in

How can copyright laws advance with digital innovations while protecting creativity and freedom of expression?


Individuals must continue to speak up

When did we begin to care about privacy?

Almost 130 years ago.


December 1890

Essay “The Right to Privacy” in Harvard Law Review Vol IV

Fast forward to 2016

We give our info our with every free service online, all the time.

Our phone knows everything...

What has Edward Snowden changed?

May be nothing... but the way we talk about surveillance, privacy and oversight.


How is privacy protected in Hong Kong?

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486)


enforcement agency:

Data privacy law in HK:

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486)


What about in China?

Awareness in privacy increasing...

How important is free flow of information to citizens?

What does it mean?

This is our system

not a Freedom of Information Law

Quarterly report, no datasets, no portal, no transparency...

US govt publishes 

Freedom of Information Law data to public


Some IT folks in HK came up with an idea:












Crowdsourcing requests to make them public & searchable

(and you can volunteer and help translate this website!)





Why are public archives important for society?

protect information to know, accountability and helps uphold freedom of the press

How does our legal system affect the development of IT?

Innovaton VS Regulation:

Enabling or Restricting?











A balancing act


Charles Mok 莫乃光


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Copyright and Privacy

By Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Copyright and Privacy

Sharing @ Dept. of Computer Science, HKBU 2016.3.22

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