New Law In Korea Means Google Bans The Uploading Of Music On Any Blog

from the life-without-safe-harbors dept

While some in the copyright community feel that things like the DMCA safe harbors are bad, it's worth watching what happens in situations where they don't exist. South Korea just changed its copyright law, such that sites that don't filter for copyrighted material can potentially be liable. So, what is the response? Google is now forbidding the uploading of any music files to avoid liability and possible shut down under the law (the law is a three strikes law that doesn't just apply to users, but to sites that the users use) (found via Techmeme). Lucas Gonze does a good job laying out the damage this causes:
The problem is not the freedom to use copyrighted content. I don't know of any such freedom. The problem is the right to play.

A guitar teacher will be unable to post lessons, and a guitar student will be unable to post homework. Two musicians working together at a distance will be unable to share unfinished multitracks. An unsigned classical quartet will be unable to post samples of their work. Only the tiny few who work on commercially published recordings will still be able to be heard, and even only the small proportion of their recordings that are completed commercial works will be heard.

Most musicians are amateurs with no financial interest in copyright. The proportion of amateurs to professionals is so overwhelming that the word "musician" is a synonym for "amateur." Whenever copyright is wielded on behalf of the professionals in a way that makes it harder for amateurs to make music, it is hurting musicians.
Oh, and don't forget, the entire reason why South Korea is suddenly putting in place draconian, self-damaging, protectionist, copyright policies is because the entertainment industry went on a huge lobbying campaign claiming that South Korea was a haven for piracy, and then had the US gov't include requirements for much more stringent copyright laws in a free trade agreement -- despite the fact it was about the opposite of free trade. The entire purpose wasn't free trade, but protectionism of the US entertainment industry. Soon after that passed, we noted that it would require shutting down any service that permitted unauthorized reproduction... and we're seeing the impact of that now.

South Korea has been a leader in internet technologies. It had real broadband (both wired and wireless) to nearly every home well before almost every other country. As such, it has a thriving internet industry... but it has also had a thriving entertainment industry made up of execs who embraced the internet. Folks like JY Park, who recognizes that selling music directly is the past, but by embracing that fact, is building a media empire. But, of course, the folks back in Hollywood don't want to compete and don't want to change... so they got the US gov't to force South Korea to put in place these ridiculous copyright laws that help them and harm pretty much everyone else.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    OKVol, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Let me get this straight

    If the user is in South Korea, no music uploads in blogs. Nothing Nazi in Germany. No evolution material in Texas or Kansas schools. Rush is only allowed to view Fox news...

    This allow/block matrix is going to get tricky folks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    This story is very, very misleading again.

    If I am working on a song with someone, I don't upload it online. I would zip it and send it to them, either by mail, perhaps even through ICQ / chat. I might even open an FTP connection if they supported it.

    A guitar teacher is in the same boat. Honestly, if you are running a music school but using google's bandwidth, you have other issues you need to address.

    Basically, Google's choice only limits what ends up on Google's servers. Nothing more.

     

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  3.  
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    Another anon, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Apparently anon hasn't heard about Web 2.0, social networking and collaboration.

     

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  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    Congratulations you've missed the point again!

    I'll bet your friends say things like "look at my new diamond earrings" and you reply "I know a doctor who does surgery for that."

     

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  5.  
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    Mechwarrior, May 28th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Once ACTA eventually passes, expect the same in all Western nations. In fact, this might be the impetus for Google to shut down Youtube, something that would probably help their bottom line.

     

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  6.  
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    fogbugzd, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Over the top

    Every time the recording industry is successful in getting an even more draconian law passed they get bolder on their next bid. At some point they are going to go over the top and annoy too much of the public. The majority of people think this is only an issue with "pirates." and they don't see it touching them. However, if you take my mother's YouTube away, there is going to be big trouble.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    PRMan, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Let me get this straight

    >>>No evolution material in Texas or Kansas schools.

    Actually, there is still evolution material in those states. They simply realize that there are many repeatable scientific experiments done by Creationists which raise serious doubts in the theories of the Big Bang and Evolution.

    What you meant to say is, "No published, peer-reviewed, repeatable scientific experiments from Creationists in the US (unless you are in Texas or Kansas)."

     

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  8.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re:

    No, you seem to have missed the point.

    "If I am working on a song with someone, I don't upload it online."

    What if the person you're collaborating with lives in another country, or simply prefers to keep both of your contributions in a place you can both access them at any time? Online collaboration is an increasingly important resource for musicians. Not only that, but how do you promote the song once you've finished? Online marketing seems to be at issue as well, as the three strikes law affects the companies for their users' actions - is your provider sure you own the song you claim that you wrote?

    "A guitar teacher is in the same boat. Honestly, if you are running a music school but using google's bandwidth, you have other issues you need to address."

    See above, you have missed the point completely.

    "I might even open an FTP connection if they supported it."

    FTP to where? The problem is the law that covers any web space. Just because Google's blogging service is the first to react, don't assume that's all that will be affected. If you FTP to a service owned by any 3rd party, they will be affected the same as Google.

    "Basically, Google's choice only limits what ends up on Google's servers. Nothing more."

    The point of the story is that Google's reaction is in response to a stupid, over-reaching law that affects any site. Google just happen to be the largest provider to have take negative action at this moment in time. The law affects *every* site accessible to South Koreans.

     

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  9.  
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    PaulT (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    OK, at the risk of fanning the flames on an unrelated subject, what experiments are those and where were they published? I'm unaware of any such experiments that haven't been torn to shreds by reputable scientists in minutes.

     

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  10.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    "Honestly, if you are running a music school but using google's bandwidth, you have other issues you need to address."

    A music school is for teaching music not running networks. It's perfectly logical to have someone else host their web site/blog/whatever. The same can be said for quite a few other things. Why would a band, just starting out, buy their own server and business internet connection? Several thousand dollars or free, you decide.

    PS: ICQ/Chat, FTP, E-Mail are all online and are all subject to this dumb ass law in South Korea.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    These big corporations claim to be in favor of free markets but that's just a lie. They want freedoms for themselves only, to the extent that taking away everyone else's freedoms helps them they want everyone elses freedoms taken away.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Shawn, May 28th, 2009 @ 12:52pm

    Google Gone Nuts

    I guess google has gone nuts. some people will say that its a good move by google but in my opinion this is gonna create a huge trouble for people.

     

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  13.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Now I have to agree with you on the working with another artist on a piece of music, except in the case where perhaps we were documenting are creative process for our fans to few. I might upload that content to youtube or a blogspot account. What if it is not a formal music school and it is a long distance mentoring or an uncle teaching his nephew how to play using Google's free service as a base for that teaching. What then??

    You are right that it is about the fact that it is Google keeping possible infringing material off there systems. But by that all the other companies are probably going to do the same thing.. What happens then is what this piece is truly about.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Google Gone Nuts

    Trouble for those in south Korea at the moment. After ACTA could be trouble for all of us. I do not blame Google, they are simply covering their a**, and even if they do finally shutdown Youtube so be it. Perhaps finally we will get enough of a voice by outraged users that government might finally listen to what we have been trying to tell them vs. what the industry wants them to hear.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    What happens then is that the MPAA and RIAA have a monopoly on who becomes an artist/musician/etc.... We know that Monopolies are bad for society/the economy.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re:

    It's funny as heck to watch you guys go.

    If you are running your own website, you control the content. If you own the copyright to something,do what you want with it. The Korean law doesn't forbid copyright holders from distributing their work as they see fit.

    Hosting isn't expensive. Why the several thousand dollars?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If you are running your own website, you control the content. If you own the copyright to something,do what you want with it. The Korean law doesn't forbid copyright holders from distributing their work as they see fit."

    What if someone can't afford to host it? Google is willing to host it provided that these stupid laws don't exist. Since they do exist, and Google doesn't want to face liability, they won't host it. As a result, a perfectly talented artist/musician/etc... may suffer (along with the rest of the world who could have benefited from his work).

     

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  18.  
    icon
    jjmsan (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    Actually his post is behind the times. They are not Creationists they are talking of the theory of Intellignet Design. They have there own Journal and the Scientists at the Institute for Intellient Design award grants and approve experiments for publication in their own Journal

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Hosting isn't expensive."

    These laws also apply to those one pays to host. That's more liability for them which only adds to the cumbersome barriers to entry. We don't need to slap more red tape on this just to make the MPAA and RIAA happy. Pretty soon this would become as bad as medical care in America with too many laws and such burdening good care and making things more difficult for doctors to help people.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE4AH1CE20081118

    Lets not turn this industry into the same burdensome mess that our bureaucracy has turned medicine into.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, May 28th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Contempt Of Law

    Google shouldn't be allowed to get away with this sort of thing. The law was put in place for a reason, to make uploaders, and sites holding those uploads, pay suitable penalties to Intellectual Property rightsholders. For Google to avoid the penalties simply by blocking such uploads, means that the rightsholders lose out on payments which are an important part of their livelihood. Don't they have a right to be reimbursed for their hard, thankless work? To anybody who believes in the morality of Intellectual Property rights, this is simply unacceptable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Eclecticdave (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    I hope I never come across this journal in my local library, I might laugh so hard I'd have an aneurysm and die!

    Of course if I'd been designed by an omnipotent, omniscient being there is no way I would be able to succumb to a fatal injury through such an innocent thing as laughter, is there?

    Seriously, my favourite argument against Creationism is the one that says if God had designed humans she* wouldn't have done such a piss-poor job of it! Ask any doctor - there are literally dozens of "design flaws" in the human body.

    * Because it annoys the hell out of fundamentalists if you refer to God as being female ;-)

     

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  22.  
    icon
    nelsoncruz (profile), May 28th, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Why not block text as well?

    If google is blocking music in their korean blogging platform, why not block text as well and close the site? Can't people also post copyrighted material in text? Why the double standard?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Contempt Of Law

    "Google shouldn't be allowed to get away with this sort of thing."

    So they should risk being sued for things their users do? I don't blame them for what they did. Google did nothing wrong, it's the stupid MPAA and RIAA, with their lobbying efforts, that did something wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    "Seriously, my favourite argument against Creationism is the one that says if God had designed humans she* wouldn't have done such a piss-poor job of it! Ask any doctor - there are literally dozens of "design flaws" in the human body."

    Actually, what used to be regarded as design flaws (by darwinists) are now known to be good design. Darwin used to think the appendix was useless and he tried to use that as evidence for evolution. Now we know the appendix is useful because it helps foster good bacteria to replenish the body with if it runs short. So now darwinists change their position saying that this is what natural selection predicts. Natural selection would select out bad designs and leave in the good ones. In other words, evolution (universal common descent) makes no predictions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 28th, 2009 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Why the several thousand dollars?"

    We have a more efficient way of managing this. Perhaps it's much more economically efficient for one entity, Google, to take care of the fixed costs of hosting and spread the benefits across all the users than to have each and every single user individually pay for hosting. You want us to adopt an economically inferior infrastructure just to make the MPAA and RIAA happy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Contempt Of Law

    Best comment ever! TopCod3r, is that you?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Mechwarrior, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    Id like to see results from repeatable experimentats that support intelligent design.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Contempt Of Law

    "For Google to avoid the penalties simply by blocking such uploads"

    Google has ZERO obligation to provide anything. If the laws in place make it too burdensome and risky for Google to provide uploads should they make bad business decisions, pay penalties, and go out of business as a result? Then no one would be able to upload anything. This isn't Google's fault, it's the fault of the stupid RIAA and MPAA for their lobbying efforts. Google did nothing wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 28th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Contempt Of Law

    I can't believe you agree with this person. If the laws in place can hold a company accountable if someone else misuses its service or product and the company thinks that providing such a product is too risky then why should they provide it? Google is not morally obligated to provide anything anymore than you are. If you think that Google has a moral obligation to provide uploads than I'm going to say the same thing about you. Provide us the uploads you think Google should provide. For YOU (not Google) to avoid the costs and penalties by simply not providing those uploads, "means that the rightsholders lose out on payments which are an important part of their livelihood. Don't they have a right to be reimbursed for their hard, thankless work? To anybody who believes in the morality of Intellectual Property rights, this is simply unacceptable." That makes no sense. Google is no more obligated to provide uploads than you are and as such, in as much as there is nothing wrong with you (or anyone else) not providing such uploads, there is nothing wrong with Google not doing so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Contempt Of Law

    Someone missed the sarcasm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    (Um)Intelligent Design /IS/ Creationism. Just because you change the name does not mean you've changed the story. There still is no support for ID. That is why 93% (a verifiable figure) of scientists are atheist or agnostic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow... Just... wow... You really aren't firing all cylinders, are you? Hosting? What do you think Google is doing, if not hosting? Dumbass.

    FTP, on the other hand, does NOT require a third party server. I can run an FTP server on my home PC. The software for doing it is free, and guess what? If you don't have a login and access it? You've just broken several laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    Even if true, truth (nor science) is based on unanimous consensus. I think the fact that you would appeal to the alleged consensus demonstrates how unscientific such a position is. BTW, you are probably referring to a specific group of scientists, within a specific organization (ie: like the NSF). Many doctors and engineers are not atheists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 2:54am

    you can have the internet, but don't plan to use it or we'll shut you down, nice. Good Job HolelyWood!

     

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  35.  
    icon
    eclecticdave (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 4:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    The Theory of Evolution makes *loads* of predictions, many of which have subsequently been supported by scientific evidence. You're just choosing to ignore a vast body of literature, because it doesn't fit in with what you prefer to believe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Talmyr (profile), May 29th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    It's a little irrelevant to ID/Evolution if someone is agnostic or atheist or theist. Plenty of scientists (outside of the US) believe in God and evolution together. Science is about making testable predictions and having verifiable results, and generally works on an ever-evolving consensus (we no longer all 'agree' that the earth is flat, for instance). ID/Creationism can answer none of these tests of science, so fail to be science any more than Art Criticism is science. Creationists love to conveniently forget that evolution isn't some global conspiracy by the 'atheists' to promote atheism. They forget that evolution and geological timescales and all these other 'inconvenient' scientific 'truths' were discovered and worked out by RELIGIOUS men in previous centuries. No-one accused Galileo of being an 'atheist conspirator'. Plenty of nineteenth-century biologists and geologists were ardent believers in God. But they also believed in scientific methodology - and that methodology leads to geological time, the Big Bang and evolution as surely as it leads to televisions, airplanes and the Internet (all based on science).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Free Trade Agreement?

    That's a lesson for all those countries that signs a Free Trade Agreement with USA.

    You'll be subject to whatever "laws" that they push on you and you won't get a chance to vote on it...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 7:33am

    How about a link to the actual korean law? There seems to be much speculation here but a distinct shortage of facts. The Masnick Effect at work again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    I have not ignored anything, you are just making blind assertions with no substantiation. Darwin was wrong about a lot of things (ie: the appendix being useless, he predicted gradualism but when many instances of gradualism were contradicted (instead of admitting evolution to be wrong) evolutionists came out with punctuated equilibrium. No matter what the evidence, evolution comes up with something to account for it) and it never falsified UCD. In other words, UCD is unfalsifiable and predicts nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Eclecticdave (profile), May 30th, 2009 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Let me get this straight

    > you are just making blind assertions with no substantiation

    That's quite rich coming from someone who believes God created the universe out of nothing!

    > Darwin was wrong about a lot of things

    So you keep saying, but so what if he got a few details wrong?
    Evolution doesn't begin and end with Darwin's work and his basic premise is the foundation for a mountain of work, none of which you acknowledge.

    > he predicted gradualism

    No he didn't - On The Origin Of Species never makes such an assertion. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyletic_gradualism

    > No matter what the evidence, evolution comes up with something to account for it

    That's because when a theory matches the available evidence 99% of the time and just needs a tweak to account for something newly discovered, then that's perfectly reasonable.

    If you want to falsify it you have find a flaw that shows the theory is *fundamentally* wrong in some way. At that point it helps if you have an alternative theory that explains all the evidence and avoids the same flaws. This is how General Relativity usurped Newton's Law of Gravity for example.

    Such a theory will need to be a bit more reasonable than "God created everything in six days, because lots of people think so, and he planted all that fake evidence pointing to evolution because he moves in mysterious ways that man is not meant to comprehend".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Miro, Jun 23rd, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Hi, I'm south korean and excuse me for my bad english first..

    Funny thing is, this law does not really meant to protect any of copyrights (it looks like it though)
    Government don't even care if foreigners or koreans pirate musics,games and all that
    they just wanted to cease the internet as soon as they could..

    because, what's going on in south korea is almost 'dictatorship' of stupid president.
    politicians are corrupted like crazy, ever.
    and since people were able to write article about how corrupted they are
    on the free-for-all internet blog or community forum or anything like those
    politicians decided to cut the major fun part of the korean netizens (word which is citizen+net..)..

    and soon, they will also make a 'funny' law about 'internet-critisism penalty',
    which will be like, if I write
    'President Lee looks like a stupid rat..'
    I'll be end up locked up in jail
    or charged like twenty thousand USD or way more..

    I still can't believe this kind of thing is happening in my country. It's like friggin communist china!
    Stupid president is wrecking our democracy..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Korean girl, Jun 24th, 2009 @ 12:02am

    I'm south korean and the stupid copyright law
    literally states how nobody is allowed to post
    any file that has to do with music
    We can't post lyrics wtf
    we can't post music videos
    we can't post videos of ourselves singing any song
    we can't post videos of ourselves dancing to any song
    or we would have to get a copyright license or some shit
    we can't even upload pictures of singers
    pictures of their albums
    ANYTHING what the fuck are we supposed to do now
    quit the internet? I'm mad pissed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Korean girl, Jun 24th, 2009 @ 12:08am

    oh yea, we also can't post posters of any movies or dramas
    any pictures of any famous people
    any pictures of restaurants or places we've been to
    any captures or scenes from music videos or dramas or movies
    Even if we pay for the files on a p2p site, it's considered
    illegal
    We can't even post parodies of anything
    Wish someone will help us
    pleeeeeeaaaaaaase

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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