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HUMA 3250 - Independent Cinema in Contemporary China: Intellectual Property - Yours & Others

Information Creator and User

All people are both information creators and users. Here you will learn about

  • Your rights as an information creator (how you want your intellectual property used)
  • Your responsibilities as a user of other people's information (how you should use others' intellectual property)

What is "Information" ?

"Generally, information is whatever is capable of causing a human mind to change its opinion about the current state of the real world.."1

Thus, a poem, a painting, a song, or a film can also be considered, information.

1. "information." A Dictionary of Computer Science. Eds. Butterfield, Andrew, and Gerard Ekembe Ngondi. : Oxford University Press, 2016. Oxford Reference. 2016. Date Accessed 17 Feb. 2017 <>.

What is copyright?

In general, copyright is the right given to the owner of an original work, it is an automatic right for the creator (author). Often times, the author then sells it on, for example a composer to a recording company like Sony.

Who is the Copyright Owner? The Author of the work
Copyright protects:
  • Literacy work (Books, articles)
  • Musical works (Musical compositions)
  • Dramatic works (Plays)
  • Artistic works (Drawings, paintings, sculptures, sound recordings, films)

** Copyrighted works on internet are protected by copyright law

** Your film is also copyright protected - you and your group own it

Copyright last for? Usually 50 years after the creator of the work dies

Source: Intellectual Property Department (

Copyright law in HK - Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528)

Copyright - Fair Dealing

Fair Dealing - extremely limited use

Using copyrighted works as part of your class assignment is covered under the  "Fair Dealing for the purposes of giving or receiving instruction" in section 41-A of the Hong Kong Kong copyright ordinance. You mustl be very careful about:

  • The purpose and character of the dealing (Non-profit making?)
  • The nature of the work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion dealt with in relation to the work as a whole (e.g. Are you using the most most important portion of the work?)
  • The effect of the dealing upon the potential market for a value of the work

Source: Intellectual Property Department (

Copyright in Education - FAQ (Chinese version only) (By Education Bureau)

What can be used for free (no payment)

  • Your own original material
  • The material belongs to public domain, which is made free for everyone use
  • You have the permission of the copyright owner
    • Request permission:
      • If you wish to use content created by another person and reuse it in your film, you have to obtain permission from the copyright owner.
      • A consent by email is generally accepted, keep the record of the permission for your work with re-used content.

Creative Commons - Share Your work

If you are planing to share your work with the public on the Internet, you may consider to choose a Creative Commons License to protect your creative work.

For more information:

There are six types of Creative Commons License:

License Type  
Attribution CC BY This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation
Attribution ShareAlike CC BY-SA This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms
Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

For more information:

How Creative Commons Works

Hong Kong Creative Commons video

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