Author Topic: What is the law?  (Read 170 times)

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Offline Pabitra

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What is the law?
« on: June 04, 2018, 06:47:34 PM »

Online Figleaf

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Re: What is the law?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 10:43:19 PM »
Don't know what the law is in Hong Kong. In countries where I do know the system, there are rules for making copies of banknotes for commercial purposes. Usually, it is OK to publish pictures of banknotes that are in perspective (their silhouet is not rectangular), significantly smaller than the real thing, unsharp, half covered etc. When the picture could as it were be cut out if necessary and used as money, it has to be defaced, e.g. with the word SPECIMEN printed diagonally across.

It may be that the prop makers didn't respect these rules. If they didn't want SPECIMEN to appear on the props, they could have made the banknotes smaller. I don't think that would have been visible in a film. If they didn't respect the rules they are guilty as charged. Film makers are not above the law.

It is of little importance that they are of good character in this case. The risk was not that they would use the props as money, but that the fake notes would fall into the hands of people who would use them as money. A worst case scenario would have been that Hong Kong would have been forced to issue newly designed banknotes on very short notice, which is risky and expensive. However, it is likely that this was not the intention of the film makers. That explains the suspended sentence (message: OK, we believe you, just don't do this again) and the ongoing investigation of the case against Lam Ling-Tung, which may be on whether he had used or tried to use the fake notes to pay.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: What is the law?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 05:10:42 PM »
As for options such as adding the word "specimen" or making the reproduction larger/smaller than a real note, this is how the European Central Bank puts it for example:

See Article 2(3) and 2(4): "Reproductions complying with the following criteria shall be deemed lawful, since there is no risk that the general public might mistake them for genuine euro banknotes" ...