In Janauray, several members of the National Assembly proposed a bill to amend the Copyright Act. This provoked a storm of opposition from the copyright industries. Last month the industries asked Mr. Choi who led the bill with OpenNet to listen them in a closed room. Mr. Choi wrote in his blog that as many as twenty four representatives of copyright industries took park in and emphasied the problem of piracy and its economic harm (estimated as about USD 2 billion). They argued that the three-strikes-out rule and filtering obligation imposed upon special type ISPs (such as webhard and P2P service providers), which are to be entirely removed by the bill, are the minimum effective measures addressing the problem of piracy.

Closed Meeting with Copyright Industries Who Strongly Opposed the Copyright Reform Bill (From Mr. Choi’s Blog)

Now the copyright industries intensify their lobbying activities to all of the members of competent standing committee of the National Assembly. To their efforts blocking the copyright reform bill, thirty copyright organizations and companies, including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Universal Music Group International joined.
Here is the English translation of their written opinion faxed to the National Assembly members during the seocond week of this month. You may download the origianl Korean text – Joint Written Opinion_Copyright Industries_Korean.

— [English Translation by Heesob Nam] —

Joint Written Opinion for the Protection of Copyright Holders’ Rights

Copyright industries oppose the bill to amend Copyright Act introduced by Choi, Jae-Cheon, which focuses on the interests of online service providers.
For the purpose of fully reflecting OSPs’ safe harbor provisions, Mr. Choi introduced on January 17th a bill to amend Copyright Act. Main reason of the bill is said to implement the Korea-US FTA and the Korea-EU FTA, but it clearly puts the environment of cultural industries into jeopardy, given the reality of rampant online copyright piracy in South Korea.
In a situation where online piracy lasts and no effective action against it is available, exempting the special type of OSPs from liability on the online piracy would:

  • Ÿlead to a rapid increase of online piracy;
  • Ÿincrease the damage to legal copyright market, resulting in hindrance to the growth of contents cultural industries;
  • Ÿmake the efforts the government, copyright holders, contents industries all have made for several years crumbled into dust;
  • Ÿshift the responsibility on the online piracy to the individual users by exempting OSPs; and
  • Ÿintensify the conflicts between the copyright holders and individual users while keeping the OSPs make unfair profits from the online piracy.

Article 104, 133bis and 133ter[1] was codified into the Copyright Act to remedy the online piracy environment and if those provisions are removed as proposed by the bill while the online piracy environment is not remedied yet, the bill would:

  • nip in the bud the market for online distribution of lawful contents, which just took roots by the introduction of so-called web hard registration system for May last year[2]; and
  • Ÿcause social chaos by making invalid measures of another laws (the Telecommunications Business Act and Act on the Protection of Children and Juveniles from Sexual Abuse), which aim at preventing harmful impacts of the special type of OSPs on society.

We oppose the bill, which keeps OSPs to gain profits from the online piracy while enables OSPs to avoid legal responsibility from the online piracy.
Copyright Organizations Conference for the Protection of Right of Copyright Holders
Korea Federation of Copyright Organizations
Korea Music Copyright Association
Federation of Korean Music Performers
Korean Association of Phonogram Producers
Korea Movie & Video Industry Association
Korea Broadcasting Performer`s Association
Korea Reproduction And Transmission Rights Association
Korean TV & Radio Writers Association
Korea Scenario Writers Association
Korean Film Producers Association
Korea Association of Game Industry
Korea Cartoon Press Association
Korea Software Property-Right Council
Korea Animation Producers Association
Film Federation Against Piracy
SBS Contents Hub
KBS Media
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
Loen Entertainment
Korea Music Contents Industry Association
Neg Co.,Ltd.
Daewon Culture Industry Inc.
Universal Music Group International
Iconix Entertainment
Daewon Media
Seoul Media Group New Paradigm of Culture
Dongwoo Animation & Entertainment
Sunwoo Entertainment
OCON Animation Studio