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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
HK imposes 'film pirates' fines
Charles Heung Wah-keung, Peter Lam Kin-ngok, John Chong, Audrey Lee and Samson Chui from Hong Kong's film industry
Members of Hong Kong's film industry say piracy cuts their profits
The organisation representing Hong Kong's film industry has imposed fines of US$3,000 (1,582) on 42 people it alleges illegally downloaded movies.

It has threatened to sue them unless they pay the compensation and promise not to breach copyright in the future.

A court had ordered internet service providers to give the names to the Motion Picture Industry Association.

Last year a man was jailed for three months in Hong Kong for offering films with file-sharing software BitTorrent.

A martial arts movie starring Jet Li - Fearless, which was known locally as Huo Yuan Jia - was among the three titles obtained, the association said.

'Playing police'

Some of those working in Hong Kong's cinema industry complain that the government is not doing enough to defeat piracy.

"The government should be ashamed that we investors have to put up money to play police officer," producer Charles Heung told the Reuters news agency.

However, Hong Kong's Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau disagreed.

"The government has always done the utmost to battle the problem of online piracy," it said in a statement.

"We will continue to co-ordinate with the movie industry on our law enforcement actions, civic education and work with copyright holders."

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