IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 731 OF 1998
Coram : Deputy Judge Muttrie in Court
Date of hearing : 15 October 1998
Date of judgment : 15 October 1998
J U D G M E N T
1. The Appellant was convicted on his own plea of offering for sale infringing copies of copyright works for the purpose of trade orbusiness without the licence of the copyright owner, and he was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.
2. The infringing copies consisted of 426 CD-Rom discs and the record shows that the Appellant accepted that the value of the CD-Romdiscs were $17,000. The learned Magistrate took as a starting point for sentence 12 months’ imprisonment. In doing so he was in linewith various recent authorities which he had cited in his Reasons for Sentence. He properly allowed a 1/3rd discount from the startingpoint in respect of the Appellant’s early plea of guilty.
3. As I have said, the sentence is in line with recent authorities, it cannot be said that infringing copies to the value of $17,000is a particularly small quantity. It may be that other courts have dealt with other offenders in a slightly different way, but thequestion is whether, in this instance, this particular Magistrate imposed a sentence which was too severe and from the record, itdoes not appear to me that he did. I appreciate that the Appellant has had his bail estreated because he arrived late. Again thisis something that is in the province of the Magistrate to do or not to do. It is a matter of discretion, I do not think that it issomething which the Magistrate would have to take into account in arriving at the proper sentence.
4. Accordingly there appears to be no good grounds for reducing this sentence and the appeal is dismissed.
Ms Lily Wong, G.C., inst’d by DPP, for HKSAR
Appellant in person – Present