After publicly resigning from the Hong Kong showbiz circle on Thursday afternoon, the scandal-plagued pop star Edison Chen hit a frontal blow to the disseminators by claiming the copyright to the racy photos.
On Thursday evening, Chen's lawyer delivered a statement to the local media, saying that it would be illegal to publish, copy or spread the photos without Chen's approval. The statement further warned that media outlets that had used the photos in their publications had also broken the law.
Hundreds of explicit photos featuring Chen and various local celebrities were released by an unidentified source from the end of January until earlier this month. In the past weeks, several dozen people have been arrested by police in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese mainland for breaking local anti-pornography laws by spreading the photos on the internet or producing and selling related discs.
Chen, who left Hong Kong for the U.S. and Canada soon after the photos emerged, released a video on February 4th appealing to the public not to download the photos in a vain attempt to control the situation.
Finally returning to Hong Kong, he admitted that he had taken most of the pictures and made a public apology at a press conference on Thursday.
Legal experts say it was a wise move to claim copyright to the photos, because local copyright law is more powerful than the regulations against obscene materials. Chen can sue for compensation from anyone who copies or spreads copies of the photos. In addition, lawbreakers may face up to four years in jail.
(CRIENGLISH.com, February 23, 2008)