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14. Is it illegal to use the BitTorrent (BT) technology in Hong Kong?

BT is a file-sharing technology designed for efficient distribution of large files or large amounts of data through the Internet. When several computers are downloading the same file at the same time, each computer is also passing (or uploading) the portions of the file to other computers. As a result, the speed of downloading is faster from just one single source. (Note: If you want to know more about BT, please ask an IT expert.)


The BT technology, like any other technology, is neutral in nature and there is no law in Hong Kong which says that the use of BT by itself is illegal. Whether or not a user incurs legal liabilities by using BT will depend on what use he makes of the technology. If the user uses BT to download or upload infringing copies of a work, clearly his acts will be illegal. But if he uses BT to share his own works with others (or share works with the consent of the copyright owners), then it will be a perfectly lawful use of BT.