New Korean Copyright Laws

I am not at all well versed on the new Copyright laws that start being effective tomorrow July 23 (or now in Korea), but from what I have been reading, the new law is basically:

“Thou shalt not spread your Korean culture outside of the comfort of your own house/room”

You can’t upload Korean dramas and variety shows online! Duh. You can’t post links to those online, in any blog or fan cafes. You can’t post screen captures/clips taken from Korean dramas or variety shows at all. The kicker is, you cannot post any video of yourself, be it parody, singing, reenactment, etc, if you are imitating someone from TV.

To me, the gist of this all is to basically castrate the spread of Korean culture to the outside world. MBC, KBS, and SBS are national broadcasters where every person in the country can enjoy. But it is US, who do not have the privilege of living in Korea, that will basically be deprived the most.

I’m curious, does the word Hallyu not ring any bell in the ears of the government? Hallyu allows Korean entertainment to be this popular. Hallyu does not only pertain to superstars like Bae Yongjoon, Bi, Jang Donggun, Lee Youngae, etc. No, Hallyu in essence involves everyone in the entertainment industry who has made him/herself known to the foreign public. Yoo Jaesuk is a hallyu star too, but no, he does not have DVDs or CDs or concerts abroad to promote himself as he’s mostly confined to the TV environment.

Without the uploaded videos of X-Man on YT, would people from the other hemisphere know about Kim Jongkook? Or Chae Yeon? Without those online Loveletter videos of Shinhwa, would Shinhwa have this many fans out of the country? If Shinhwa didn’t have this many fans, would those foreign fans go to Korea simply to watch their concert and therefore creating cash for Korea? If people didn’t find those We Got Married videos on Youtube, would there be this many people knowing who the heck Crown J and Seo Inyoung is?

The obvious answer is NO.

Would people know a show where celebrities tell their stories called Yashimanman? Would people know celebrities such as Kim Shinyoung, Shin Bongsun, Kang Soojung, and Jo Hyerun, whose main avenue is variety shows? The variety shows that are uploaded online, NOT for the purpose of making money, but simply for the purpose of spreading the goodness of Korean culture.

I don’t know what kind of government is controlling Korea at the moment, but this policy just has ‘shortsighted’ and ‘dumb’ spelled on its forehead. What kind of alternative are you planning to provide, dear ol government, in order to prop your entertainment industry? By increasing prices due to higher copyright power? We are in a middle of recession here. Do you think it would help? I don’t see it.

For the record, if I am asked to pay to watch my favourite Korean dramas and variety shows, I wouldn’t mind as long as it’s reasonable and service is of quality. This is not about wanting to get free goodies forever, but this is about having the channel and the alternative to enjoy Korean entertainment, especially as a foreign viewer.

Hopefully things will get resolved and common sense get through. Absolut restriction and repression will not be fruitful.


One response to “New Korean Copyright Laws

  1. the world is getting smaller thanks to technology so to deny the greater global community access to Korea and its pop culture would be terrible.
    had it not been for Korean shows on the internet, i would not have developed a deeper love and appreciation for all Korean culture.
    the door has been propped open and to slam the door shut, especially with the likes of the Wonder Girls and BoA infiltrating the U.S. market, it would be tragic.

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