The Intellectual Property Aspect
1 Answer

(a) Initiatives by the US

There exist a number of Cyber Intellectual Property statutes in the US, such as the 'Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act 1997‘, ‘The Digital Copyright Clarif‌ication and Technology Education Act of 1997', ‘The No Electronic Theft Act 1998', etc. These legislations take care of the IPR aspects with regard to the electronic medium. A Working Group on IPR was constituted as part of the 'Information Infrastructure Task Force on NII' of the US. Based on the Final recommendations of the Working Group, the US Copyright Law has been amended and specif‌ic provisions relevant to the digital networked environment of NII has been carved out into another enactment named as 'NII Copyright Protection ACT of 1995‘.

(b) The GIIC Recommendations on IPR

The Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC) has recommended that the current intellectual property laws of various countries should be carefully reviewed in order to cater to the developments taking place in technology. The amendments should be carried out with due consideration for a balance between copyright holders and the users of the copyrighted product. It supports the efforts for the development of a suitable technology to prevent activities which infringe on exclusive rights. It recommends that a precise def‌inition that demarcates between legal and illegal activities is necessary to identify the actions that result in infringement of Intellectual Property Rights.

(c) Hong Kong - Amendment of Intellectual Property Laws

The 'Intellectual Property (World Trade Organisation Amendments) Ordinance' was passed in May 1996. The law was introduced in October 1995 in order to enable Hong Kong fulf‌il its obligations under GATT-TRIPS. The law also enables Hong Kong conform to the new international intellectual property standards. In spite of whether China itself is admitted to the WTO or not, Hong Kong's status as a member of the WTO will not be affected due to its reversion to the Chinese sovereignty. This is because Hong Kong retains its identity as a separate trading entity.

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