Hong Kong film industry furious at YouTube 'piracy'

Apr 25, 2012
A man watches a YouTube video in Hong Kong in 2009. Hong Kong filmmakers on Wednesday urged YouTube to do more to protect copyright, claiming losses of $308 million due to pirated movie clips posted on the American video-sharing site.

Hong Kong filmmakers on Wednesday urged YouTube to do more to protect copyright, claiming losses of $308 million due to pirated movie clips posted on the American video-sharing site.

The Hong Kong Motion Pictures Industry Association (MPIA) accused the Google-owned company of "severe" copyright infringements after it found over 500 illegally uploaded clips from 200 Hong Kong including new releases.

The videos had been viewed about 40 million times, the association said.

"This is a big blow to the Hong Kong film industry," MPIA chief executive Brian Chung told AFP.

"If is allowed to continue, it will deter film investors from investing in local films and it will badly affect the quality and quantity of Hong Kong films."

Hong Kong actors Deanie Ip (R) and Andy Lau on April 15 after winning awards for their roles in the film "A Simple Life" at the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards. The Hong Kong Motion Pictures Industry Association accused YouTube of "severe" copyright infringements after clips of the film, which is still showing in Hong Kong cinemas, were found the video-sharing website.

Movie producers in the southern Chinese city -- home of the late kung fu legend Bruce Lee and beloved of US directors such as Quentin Tarantino -- said the problem affected classics as well as new releases.

"Love in the Buff", directed by Pang Ho-Cheung and starring Miriam Yeung, was uploaded in its entirety on within days of its release last month.

It was removed after distributor Media Asia filed a complaint.

Clips of award-winning "A Simple Life", which is still showing in Hong Kong cinemas, were also on YouTube, along with comedy-action film "Shaolin Soccer" and martial arts flick "Ip Man".

"As the world's biggest video-sharing site, YouTube should ensure it will do all it can to protect copyrights, such as installing filters to prevent users from uploading copyrighted videos without permission," Chung said.

representatives were unavailable to comment.

A German court last week ruled that YouTube is responsible when users post copyrighted music clips without permission.

Hong Kong became an international movie powerhouse in the 1970s and remains a rich source of film talent, producing stars and films that enjoy huge popularity across Asia.

But in recent years it has struggled to compete with blockbusters produced in mainland China.

Explore further: Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hong Kong women protest against mainland mothers

Jan 15, 2012

Pregnant women and mothers pushing strollers were among more than 1,500 protesters who took to the streets in Hong Kong Sunday to oppose the growing number of mainland Chinese giving birth in the city.

Hong Kong moves to restrict mainland babies

Apr 07, 2011

Hong Kong says it will restrict the number of mainland Chinese women allowed to give birth in the city's hospitals which are struggling to cope with the tens of thousands who arrive each year.

Recommended for you

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

User comments : 0