The Copyright Tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial body established on 1 December 1997 under section 169 of the Copyright Ordinance (Cap. 528). The forerunner of the Copyright Tribunal was the Performing Rights Tribunal established under the UK Copyright Act 1956.
The main function of the Copyright Tribunal is to decide disputes relating to licences offered by, or licensing schemes operated by,
licensing bodies in the copyright and related area. Broadly speaking, anyone who considers to have unreasonably been refused a licence under a
licensing scheme or considers the terms of an offered licence unreasonable may refer the matter to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal can also decide other matters which do not involve collective licensing bodies. For example, the Tribunal can give consent on behalf of an owner of the right of reproduction concerning a performance or on behalf of an owner of performers' rental right if the identity or whereabouts of such right owner cannot be ascertained.
The Tribunal is entitled to conclusively establish the facts of a case and to come to a decision which is reasonable in the light of those facts. Hearings in the Tribunal would normally be conducted in public. Its decisions are appealable to the Court of First Instance only on points of law.