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1. How do I obtain copyright?

Generally, to enjoy copyright protection, a work must be original and be recorded in a material form. If these conditions are satisfied, copyright will arise automatically, and there are no requirements for registration or other formalities. Under the Copyright Ordinance, works by authors from anywhere in the world, or works first published anywhere in the world, are all eligible for copyright protection in Hong Kong.


In the context of copyright, "original" simply means that the work originates from the author (i.e. not copied from elsewhere) and that it involves the author's skill and labour. Copyright does not require a work to be of high quality or aesthetic value. Nor does it require a work to be creative or new. However, works which are trivial or involve little skill and labour will not be protected. Thus titles, names, and short phrases are generally not protected by copyright (but can be protected as trade marks). Mere ideas also do not enjoy copyright.