HK music firms sue tech illiterate

Frowning slightly

I was amused to read in the South China Morning Post that record companies in Hong Kong (not exactly what you'd call a legit music country -Ed) are suing a man who claims he " 'can't switch a computer on."

According to the paper, seven major record companies are collectively seeking legal action against Yeung Chun-Choice, aged 54, for allegedly uploading copyrighted music on to the Net.

The paper quotes Yeung as saying he did not even know how to switch on a computer and said his two daughters most likely downloaded any copyrighted music.

"My youngest daughters go online to do their homework," he said. "They spend more time than anyone else on the computer."

The action follows the world's first criminal conviction for uploading handed down last November in Tuen Mun Court. Chan Nai-ming, 38, was sentenced to three months' jail for uploading three Hollywood movies to the Internet using BitTorrent software.

Wow - that's a heavy sentence - Ed

He was released on $5,000 bail pending an appeal.

The writ against Yeung alleges that, on numerous occasions before November 7, he uploaded, downloaded and stored illegal copies of copyrighted music.

In addition to unspecified damages, the companies want an injunction to stop Yeung, or any of his associates, further infringing their copyright, and to force him to delete all illegal files from his computer and any other place they may be stored.

As you might expect, the case is creating more than a bit of controversy in Hong Kong, as the legal issue is not so much whether Yeung uploaded the files, but whether he is responsible for the actions on his family PC on the family phone line.

This one, I suspect, could run and run...