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Media & Entertainment

ONC has advised a wide range of clients in the media and entertainment industries, in obtaining, maintaining and protecting their intellectual property rights, including the portrait right of celebrities, copyright in songs and lyrics, artworks, photography and video works, titles, distribution rights, etc., to ensure that their original creations and new technological advancements are safely protected.

Some of our work include:

  • assisting a major film development and production company in its intellectual property enforcement in Hong Kong;
  • assisting and advising a world recognized actor and director in protection of intellectual property rights; and
  • managing the trade mark portfolio of one of the most influential Chinese pop singers, and advising and handling enforcement action and preparing agreements.

If you would like to know more about our intellectual property practice or how we can help your business, please contact us at (852) 2810 1212 or at ip@onc.hk.

Please refer to our articles in ‘Knowledge’

Recommended Posts

Will You Violate the Copyright Law by Performing Popular Songs in Public Places in Hong Kong?
Under the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528) (the “Ordinance”), copyright subsists automatically at the time of creation and belongs to the relevant creators in nine categories of works, namely literary works, musical works, dramatic works, artistic works, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programmes and typographical arrangement of published edition. A piece of music or a song usually incorporates several underlying copyright works with different copyright owners. For example: – the melody termed as a musical work, the copyright of which may be held by its composer; the lyrics termed as a literary work, the copyright of which may be held by its lyricist; and the sound recording itself, whether in the format of a CD or a digital file, the copyright of which may be held by its producer, e.g. its record company. Sections 17 and 18 of the Ordinance set out the duration of copyright protection of musical and literary works as well as sound recordings. The former including melody and lyrics of a song last for the life span of the author plus 50 years and the latter expires at the end of the period of 50 years from its making or releasing to public. During the protected period, copyright owners of a piece of music or a song have the exclusive right regarding the performance, playing or showing of the copyright works in public pursuant to section 22 of the Ordinance. Unless permissions are granted by the copyright owners or their agents or the activity in question is an act expressly exempted by law, the performing, playing or showing of copyright work in public constitutes an act of infringement under section 27 of the Ordinance.
Premises Manager Beware: Manage Also the Copyright Licences
Copyright is infringed when a person authorises or procures another to do any act restricted by the copyright without the copyright owner’s licence. While it is well established that someone directly involved in playing a recorded music without the copyright owners’ licence infringes their copyright, to what extent would the person authorising or procuring such act be liable? In Phonographic Performance Limited v CGK Trading Limited & Others [2016] EWHC 2642 (Ch), the English Chancery Division held that a de facto manager of a nightclub was liable for authorising and procuring the nightclub’s unlicensed playing of recorded music.
Can You Sing "Happy Birthday to You" in Public?
In a recent U.S. judgment of Rupa Marya v. Warner Chappell Music Inc, Case No. 2:13-cv-04460, the copyright in the popular song “Happy Birthday” (“Song”) of Warner Chappell Music Inc. and Summy-Birdchard Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) was in disputed by a group of artists (“Plaintiffs”). The Plaintiffs claimed that the copyright in the Song did not belong to the Defendants and the Defendants should be compelled to return the “millions of dollars of unlawful licensing fees” they have collected by wrongfully asserting copyright ownership in the lyrics to the Song. This article will summarise the key points of the judgment of the U.S. District Court (“Court”).
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