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Judicial Consideration or Case History Available

HKSAR v WAN HON SIK 31 August 2001 Court of First Instance CFI Magistracy A eal !o "2# of 2001 Citations: Presiding Judges: Phrases: Magistracy A eal "2#$2001 %2001& 3 H'()* 2+3 ,nglis- Judg.ent *e uty Judge (ongley Cri.inal la/ and rocedure 0 co yrig-t offences 0 offering for sale infringing co ies of co yrig-t /or1s for ur ose of trade or business 0 infringing co ies dis layed in s-o 0 /as invitation to treat and not offer Contract la/ 0 offer 0 dis lay of goods for sale .erely invitation to treat 2ords and -rases 0 3offers for sale3 0 Co yrig-t 4rdinance 5Ca 6"2+7 s611+
%Co yrig-t 4rdinance 5Ca 6"2+7 s611+& * /as convicted of offering for sale infringing co ies of co yrig-t /or1s for t-e ur ose of trade or business8 contrary to ss611+5175e75ii7 and 119517 of t-e Co yrig-t 4rdinance 5Ca 6"2+76 :-e c-arge related to infringing ;C*s and *;*s8 /-ic- /ere found inside a s-o /-ic- t-e rosecution alleged t-at * ran6 At issue on a eal /as /-et-er * -ad offered t-e discs for sale si. ly on t-e basis t-at t-ey /ere on dis lay in t-e s-o 6 Held8 allo/ing t-e a eal and <uas-ing t-e conviction8 t-at under t-e la/ of contract8 t-e dis lay of an article /it- a rice on in a s-o 8 /as .erely an invitation to treat and /as not an offer for sale6 :-e fact t-at s611+ also enalised a erson /-o 3e= oses3 infringing articles 3for sale38 indicated t-at t-e /ords 3offers for sale3 /ere intended to bear t-is restricted .eaning 5Fis-er v >ell %19#1& 1 ?> 39@ a lied76 5See 62+#C0,67 A eal against conviction :-is /as t-e defendantAs a eal against -is conviction in t-e Magistrates Court8 on 11 May 20018 for offering for sale infringing *284 co ies of co yrig-t /or1s for t-e ur ose of trade or business6 :-e facts are set out in t-e Budg.ent6

Facts:

Counsel In The Case:

Mr Caul Madigan8 Senior Dovern.ent Counsel8 for t-e *irector of Cublic Crosecutions6Mr Ja.es McDo/an8 instructed by t-e *irector of (egal Aid8 for t-e a ellant6
Fis-er v >ell %19#1& 1 ?> 39@8 %19#0& 3 2() 9198 %19#0& 3 All ,) E31

Cases Cited in the Judge ent: !etails o" Judg ent:

*284 *e uty Judge (ongley 16 :-is is an a eal by t-e a ellant against -is conviction by Mr >ro/ne sitting at !ort- 'o/loon Magistrates Court on 11 May 20018 of one c-arge of offering for sale 909 video co. act discs 5;C*s7 and 1# digital video discs 5*;*s7 being infringing co ies of co yrig-t /or1s for t-e ur ose of trade and business8 contrary to s611+5175e75ii7 and s6119517 of t-e Co yrig-t 4rdinance 5Ca 6"2+76 26 :-e evidence for t-e rosecution ca.e fro. t/o custo.s officers /-o gave evidence t-at t-ey -ad seen t-e

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a ellant inside a s-o in t-e Sino Centre in Mong1o16 :-e officers noticed sus ected irated co. act discs dis layed on t-e /alls of t-e s-o 6:-ey said t-at t-ey -eard t-e a ellant telling eo le in t-e s-o t-at t-e s-o -ad ne/ and old Ja anese co. act discs available6 2-en t-ey entered t-e s-o 8 t-e a ellant ad.itted t-at -e /as t-e 1ee er of t-e s-o 6 A record of intervie/ /it- t-e a ellant /as ad.itted into evidence after a voire dire as to its ad.issibility6 In t-at record of intervie/8 t-e defendant -ad ad.itted t-at t-e discs in t-e s-o /ere irated8 and t-at -e -ad been 3introducing3 Ja anese dra.a series to custo.ers6 He re eated t-at -e /as t-e 1ee er of t-e s-o res onsible for selling discs in t-e s-o 6 :-e discs /-ic- are t-e subBect of t-e c-arge /ere found by t-e custo.s officers in t-e s-o 6 Alt-oug- t-e Magistrate did not say so e= ressly in -is state.ent of findings8 it can safely be inferred t-at t-ey /ere t-e discs on dis lay in t-e s-o 6 36 It /as suggested to t-e custo.s officers in cross0e=a.ination t-at t-e a ellant /as not touting at t-e s-o but .erely loo1ing at t-e co. act discs on dis lay6 It /as also suggested to t-e. t-at t-e record of intervie/ /as signed by t-e a ellant as a result of induce.ents and t-at t-e ans/ers did not reflect /-at t-e a ellant -ad actually said6 :-ose allegations /ere denied6 *285 @6 :-e a ellant did not give evidence6 Ho/ever8 -e called a /itness to say t-at t-e a ellant /as si. ly a custo.er of t-e s-o /-ile -e -i.self /as t-e erson loo1ing after t-e s-o 6 He said t-at -e /as not in t-e s-o at t-e ti.e of t-e custo.s officersA raid because -e -ad te. orarily ste ed out to go to t-e toilet6 "6 It /as ad.itted t-at t-e discs in <uestion found inside t-e s-o /ere all unlicensed infringing co ies6 #6 :-e learned Magistrate reBected t-e evidence of t-e a ellantAs /itness and acce ted t-e evidence of t-e custo.s officers6 E6 Alt-oug- re resented by Counsel8 at trial t-e issue /as not ta1en as to /-et-er even if t-e defendant /as t-e 1ee er res onsible for selling infringing co. act discs8 -e -ad 3offered t-e relevant discs for sale3 as t-e c-arge alleges8 si. ly by reason of t-e fact t-at t-ey /ere dis layed in t-e s-o 6 +6 :-e learned Magistrate -i.self raised t-at issue and t-e decision of t-e ,nglis- Court of A eal in Fis-er v >ell %19#0& 3 All ,) E31 in -is state.ent of findings6 He said -e could not find any Hong 'ong case on t-is oint6 96 In Fis-er v >ell %19#0& 3 All ,) E318 (ord Car1er CJ /as considering t-e .eaning of t-e /ords 3offers for sale3 in a enal statue 5s61 of t-e )estriction of 4ffensive 2ea ons Act 19"976 In t-at case a 3flic13 1nife -ad been dis layed in a s-o /indo/ in front of a tic1et /it- t-e /ords 3,Bector 'nife 0 @ s-illings36 (ord Car1er decided t-at t-e ro er inter retation of t-e /ords 3offers for sale3 re<uired -i. to loo1 at t-e general la/ and in articular t-e la/ of contract6 He said t-is: :-e sole <uestion is /-et-er t-e e=-ibition of t-at 1nife in t-e /indo/ /it- t-e tic1et constituted an offer for sale /it-in t-e statute6 I t-in1 t-at .ost lay eo le /ould be inclined to t-e vie/ 5as8 indeed8 I /as .yself /-en I first read t-ese a ers78 t-at if a 1nife /ere dis layed in a /indo/ li1e t-at /it- a rice attac-ed to it8 it /as nonsense to say t-at t-at /as not offering it for sale6 :-e 1nife is t-ere inviting eo le to buy it8 and in ordinary language it is for saleF but any statute .ust be loo1ed at in t-e lig-t of t-e general la/ of t-e country8 for Carlia.ent .ust be ta1en to 1no/ t-e general la/6 It is clear t-at8 according to t-e ordinary la/ of contract8 t-e dis lay of an article /it- a rice on it in a s-o /indo/ is .erely an invitation to treat6 It is in no sense an offer for sale t-e acce tance of /-ic- constitutes a contract6 :-at is clearly t-e general la/ of t-e country6 !ot only is t-at so8 but it is to be observed t-at8 in .any statutes and orders /-ic- ro-ibit selling and offering for sale of goods8 it is very co..on8 /-en it is so desired8 to insert t-e /ords 3offering or e= osing for sale38 3e= osing for sale3 being clearly /ords /-ic- /ould cover t-e dis lay of goods in a s-o /indo/6 !ot only t-at8 *286 but it a ears t-at under several statutes 0 /e -ave been referred in articular to t-e Crices of Doods Act8 19398 and t-e Doods and Services 5Crice Control7 Act8 19@1 0 Carlia.ent8 /-en it desires to enlarge t-e ordinary .eaning of t-ose /ords8 -as a definition section enlarging t-e ordinary .eaning of 3offer for sale3 to cover ot-er .atters including8 be it observed8 e= osure of goods for sale /it- t-e rice attac-ed 5176 In t-ose circu.stances I8 for .y art8 t-oug- I confess reluctantly8 a. driven to t-e conclusion t-at no offence /as -ere co..itted6 106 :-e learned Magistrate suggests t-at t-is is not t-e a roac- t-at s-ould be ado ted by t-e courts in Hong 'ong6 He says t-at t-e distinction bet/een an invitation to treat and an offer for sale in t-e la/ of contract is not relevant to t-e inter retation of a cri.inal statute6 I res ectfully disagree6 :-e fact t-at s611+ of t-e Co yrig-t 4rdinance also enalises a erson /-o 3e= oses3 infringing discs 3for sale3 indicates t-at t-e /ords 3offers for sale3 is intended to bear t-e restricted .eaning accorded to it by t-e general la/6 4t-er/ise it /ould not atte. t to enalise t-ose /-o e= osed suc- ite.s for sale6 116 :-e learned Magistrate could not t-erefore8 si. ly on t-e basis t-at t-ey /ere on dis lay8 find t-at t-e a ellant /as offering t-e infringing discs for sale6 126 It -as been argued by Mr Madigan since t-e subsection refers to alternative .odes of co..itting t-e offence

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/-ic- it creates8 it is al/ays o en to a court to return a verdict of guilty on t-e basis of t-e alternative .ode of co..itting t-e offence8 not/it-standing t-e fact t-at t-e articulars of offence in t-e c-arge do not allege t-at t-e offence /as co..itted in t-at /ay6 :-e learned Magistrate8 -e says8 could -ave returned a verdict of guilty on t-e basis t-at t-e a ellant -ad e= osed t-ese discs for sale6 136 Mr Madigan -as not referred .e to any aut-ority for suc- a /ide ro osition6 2-ile it is ossible for a court to return an alternative verdict8 if t-e ele.ents of t-e offence alleged in t-e c-arge include all t-e ele.ents of t-e alternative .ode of co..itting t-e offence8 t-e ro osition ut for/ard by Mr Madigan cannot be correct6 A defendant is entitled to 1no/ in /-at /ay t-e rosecution is alleging t-at -e co..itted t-e offence /it- /-ic-e is c-arged6 1@6 >y s61195d7 of t-e Magistrates 4rdinance 5Ca 622E78 t-is Court does -ave t-e o/er to .a1e any 3order in t-e .atter as 5it7 t-in1s Bust and by suc- order e=ercise any o/er /-ic- t-e Magistrate .ig-t -ave e=ercised63 1"6 In .y vie/8 it /ould not be Bust for t-is Court to e=ercise t-e MagistrateAs o/er to a.end t-e c-arge under s62E of t-e Magistrates 4rdinance 5Ca 622E7 so as to u -old t-is conviction8 *287 bearing in .ind t-e stage t-ese roceedings -ave reac-ed8 and t-at t-e a ellant /ould not be accorded t-e safeguards ot-er/ise given to -i. by s62E537 of t-e Magistrates 4rdinance6 1#6 I accordingly allo/ t-e a eal and <uas- t-e conviction6 G 2012 :-o.son )euters Hong 'ong (td6

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