It was “not ideal” for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to upload a video of himself singing a song by local rock band Beyond onto social media immediately after it was sung, the Chief Executive Office has said. The office has since applied for a licence to ensure that Leung’s actions did not constitute a copyright violation.

In the video posted on Monday, Leung is seen singing Beyond’s hit song Like You alongside band member Wong Ka-keung at an anniversary dinner hosted by the pro-Beijing Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA). The video received thousands of shares, likes and comments on Facebook.

Online commenters said Leung may have violated the controversial Copyright (Amendment) Bill by sharing the video of himself singing the copyright-protected song. The video had been posted amid heated debate surrounding the bill, which has been dubbed “Internet Article 23” by campaigners.

Parody photos of Leung Chun-ying and Mao Zedong. File

The Office said on Wednesday that it has since applied for a licence with the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd. The society issued the licence, allowing Leung to upload the video onto his Facebook page.

Director of Intellectual Property Ada Leung told RTHK that, as a public figure, Leung’s act could fall under the exemption of “news reporting.” Activist group Keyboard Frontline legal consultant Craig Choy told Apple Daily that the director’s comments were wrong, as the news reporting exemption mainly covers the media and citizen reporters. He stressed that Leung could not be exempted solely based on the fact that he was a public figure.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.