Online piracy clampdown in Hong Kong deprives errant websites of HK$6.5 million in monthly ad revenue

March 22, 2018
Industry News
Content Provided By:


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Alice Shen
alice.shen@scmp.com

Group representing creative industries in city has an agreement with Taiwan authorities to exchange information on blacklisted sites

A Hong Kong scheme to clamp down on websites that display pirated content has deprived them of HK$6.5 million (US$828,000) monthly – or 24 per cent of overall monthly advertising revenue – since December 2016.

The Hong Kong Creative Industries Association (HKCIA), a non-profit organisation, announced the news on Tuesday. The association aims to unite the city’s creative and technology industries and push for relevant legal protection for the sectors.

It revealed that by putting websites publishing unauthorised content on a blacklist and circulating this to agencies that place online advertisements for clients, it managed to stop 105 advertisements from being displayed on such sites and reduced total traffic by 800,000 visits.

But association chairman Robert Lee acknowledged that fighting online piracy was still an uphill battle. The losses sustained by the errant websites were just a fraction of the HK$120 million the city’s creative industries lose each month in revenue because of online piracy of content such as video clips, films, music and animation.

“Online piracy is cross-boundary and piracy syndicates will change the server locations of their websites continuously, making it difficult to crack down on such crimes,” Lee said.

Dr Michael Kwan, convenor of the Infringing Website List scheme in Hong Kong, said many brand owners who placed online ads through agencies or intermediaries such as Googleand Facebook did not know that their ads appeared alongside illegal content. Such material may range from pornography to copyrighted work not meant for free circulation. Continue Reading

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