Who are copyright thieves?

Anyone who sells, acquires, copies or distributes copyrighted materials without permission is a copyright thief or "pirate". Downloading a movie or television program from an unauthorized Internet site and then distributing it is no different than walking into a store and stealing a DVD off the shelf.

Film piracy is committed in many ways, including via the Internet through downloadable files, selling pirated DVDs on the street or capturing and redistributing live broadcasts or performances without a license on the Internet. Downloading movies and music without the authorization of copyright holders is a growing international problem that presents serious challenges for the Hong Kong film and television industry and has serious legal consequences.

Often people who download and share copyright movies on the Internet believe they are anonymous and will not be held responsible for their actions. They are wrong. The illegal downloading and swapping of film and television files is a serious crime. Pirates and their affiliates can be detected easily and will be tracked down for engaging in Internet piracy.