Twelve Hong Kong associations, representing the content and online services industries, have pledged to work together to combat online copyright theft.

The 12 associations signed a Letter of Intent at the fourth ISP Symposium in Macau, committing them to use technical measures to fight against online copyright violations.

Signatories included the Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association Limited (MPIA), the Hong Kong Theatres Association (HKTA), the Hong Kong Video Development Foundation (HKVDF), the International Federation Against Copyright Theft, Greater China (IFACT-GC) and the Online Service Providers Alliance (OSPA).

The letter read: “In order to provide a healthy platform for legitimate online business and strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment, we jointly agree to apply appropriate and enforceable technical measures to drive out infringing content from the Internet, with a balance towards protecting freedom of expression and fostering creativity on the Internet.”

Signatories also included the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (HKISPA), the  International Federation of Creativity and Technology (IFOCAT), the International Intellectual Property Protection Centre (IIPPC), the Movie Producers and Distributors Association of Hong Kong Limited (MPDA), the Internet Society Hong Kong (ISOC-HK), domain name registry operator DotAsia and IT services company the Sun Network.

The Hong Kong government is currently seeking to write a future-proof copyright protection law for online media. As current laws do not cover new media such as BitTorrent and YouTube, authorities have been unsure as to whether they can prosecute.

The government is mulling new laws which would cover infringement by any kind of electronic media – including those not yet invented.

A report commissioned last year by IFACT-GC found that in 2008, the Hong Kong film and television industry contributed $4.2bn (HK$33bn) in gross output and an additional $770,000 (HK$6bn) in value-add to Hong Kong’s economy.