The Copyright Classroom : Lesson 1 Learning


Hey, are you sure we are going to show the photos in our coming presentation? Miss Lee said we can’t copy, perform, show or play other people’s work because it’s copyright infringement. Infringement? I don’t want to be sued for being a diligent student! How am I going to pay the fines? Don’t worry. There are in fact exceptions under the Copyright Ordinance. If you deal with the work fairly for the purposes of education, you would not infringe their copyright. So what kind of dealing is fair depends on 4 factors, namely (1) the purpose and nature of the dealing; (2) the nature of the work; (3) how much of the work is dealt with; and (4) the effect of the dealing on the potential market and value of the work. Your inclusion of the photos should be fine so long as it is only for education purposes. Phew, good to know that we can go ahead with the presentation as planned. Just one reminder, even though what you are going to do is legal, it is important that you acknowledge the sources of your findings for ethical reasons. Hi guys! Look at this pile of DSE past papers I photocopied for my student! I am such a responsible private tutor, am I? Yes you are, but I’m afraid you have infringed the copyright in those exam papers. The law only permits photocopying, or what we call “reprographic copying” of copyright works to a reasonable extent. Photocopying the entire exam paper is obviously not “to a reasonable extent”. Wait, wait, wait, Miss Lee, but some of my teachers did so as well! Even those in private tutorial schools! Well, I can’t tell for sure whether your teachers have infringed copyright. This is because the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, also known as “the HKEAA”, operates a licensing scheme especially for secondary schools and private tutorial schools in using or copying past papers. You can check out their website for more information. If your teachers have been part of the scheme and used the exam papers accordingly, it would be alright. Hmm I see. Is there any way I can avoid infringing copyright then? Of course. There are many options. You can photocopy a reasonable portion of the exam paper, but not the entire paper. If you really want to photocopy the entire one, you can apply for a licence from the HKEAA. Or, you can go and buy hard copies from bookstores. Finally, if you wish to save money, you can simply borrow the paper from the library and read it. Great! There’s still some time before the tutorial, let me figure out which option to go for! Thanks Miss Lee, see you later!

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