Copyrights in Hong Kong are generally valid to protect the life of the author plus 50 years after their death. This rule is applicable to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. To be more specific, copyright protection terminates on the 31st of December in the last calendar year of the specified protection period. For instance, if a book was created on April 1, 1925, and the author passed away on July 15, 1972, the copyright for the book will cease on December 31, 2022.

However, the duration of copyright protection varies for different types of works. The following table provides a summary of the protection periods for each category of work:

Work Category Duration of Protection
Literary Works Life of author plus 50 years
Dramatic Works Life of author plus 50 years
Musical Works Life of author plus 50 years
Artistic Works Life of author plus 50 years
Sound Recordings Copyright lasts for 50 years from the creation of the sound recording. However, if the sound recording was publicly released within this period, copyright will end 50 years from the date of that release.
Films The copyright duration is determined by the lifespan of the last surviving individual among specific designated persons, which includes the principal director, screenplay author, dialogue author, or music composer for the film, plus an additional 50 years.
Broadcasts 50 years from first broadcast
Cable Programmes 50 years from first inclusion in a cable programme service
Typographical arrangements of published editions 25 years from first publication

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