Supreme Court rules Cho Young-nam not guilty of fraud
The Supreme Court found singer Cho Young-nam not guilty of fraud on Thursday regarding artwork his assistant painted but he signed.
Cho was accused of only adding some finishing touches to the pieces before signing them and selling them to buyers who had no idea they were mainly painted by someone else.
He was accused of selling 21 paintings to 17 people, from which he made 153 million won (127,000), from September 2011 to January 2015.
The Supreme Court explained that the prosecutors had indicted him on charges of fraud, but the argument mostly surrounded who created the work and hence held the copyright of the work, which goes against the principle that the court only makes a ruling on the case that has been raised.
In addition, the ruling stated that, "Whether a work had been created by the artist themselves or was created with the help of assistants cannot be said to be a crucial or compulsory piece of information that needs to be notified to buyers."
"This case was not filed in relation to whether Cho Young-nam signed his name on another person's work, and therefore the court must look into whether the works are forged or infringing others' copyrights. It is therefore hard to conclude that the victims had mistakenly bought the paintings thinking they were done by Cho Young-nam."
According to the singer, he will keep pursuing his art and singing career. He will also publish a new book on contemporary art next week.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]