Reach to higher standardsKorea is recognized as an Internet powerhouse. Korea’s market for publications also ranks seventh in the world.
Besides the Internet and its publications, the country can boast of strong contents power, at least superficially. However, when it comes to copyrights, the country lags far behind the standards of developed countries.
The recently concluded free trade agreement with the United States should serve as a golden opportunity to enhance our copyright-related laws and systems to meet the world’s standards.
Though much of the revisions are required by the United States, that is no reason for us not to respond actively.
There are already many less-developed countries, including China, that are hurting our Internet content industry. If we become equipped with standards equal to the United States, which produces about 45 percent of the global Internet content market, our competitiveness will be enhanced.
The possible damage to our publication industry from measures extending the copyright protection period to 70 years from 50 years after the author’s death will probably not have a large impact.
However, far more serious and far-reaching consequences are expected on the Internet copyright issue.
The agreement stipulates that using other people’s work temporarily on the computer will be regarded as copyright infringement without exception.
If U.S. manufacturers file copyright lawsuits against Korean Internet users, then the domestic Internet portals will be required to provide the personal information about their users.
After looking at a few things, the online copyright environment will surely go through huge changes. Related laws, including copyright laws and the code of civil procedure, need to be revised.
What matters the most is raising public awareness about copyrights to a global standard. User-created content is mushrooming in Korea, where pure creative work represents only 16.25 percent of the total of such content, according to a survey last year by the Copyright Commission for Deliberation and Conciliation. Copying without permission will bring hefty punishments.
We could have a hard time adjusting to a new copyright environment. In the long-term, however, we firmly believe that it would ultimately benefit the domestic content business. It is time to pave the way for Korea to become a content powerhouse by elevating our awareness to a higher level.