Hide Techdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Korea Using Copyright Law To Crack Down On Protests It Doesn't Like?

from the misuse-of-copyright-law dept

Copyright law, by its nature, is an abuse of free speech. Many, of course, consider it to be a reasonable restriction on free speech — but any time you open that door, you open up the possibility that copyright will be abused in a way to prevent other types of free speech. For example, Techdirt reader cram writes in to point out that Korean officials have arrested the CEO of a video streaming website, charging him with copyright infringement, noting that the site encouraged people to upload copyrighted works by giving uploaders a share of money earned. However, many are suggesting that copyright infringement charges have little to do with the real reason behind the arrest — as the guy arrested also runs another site that has helped publicize videos protesting Korean policies on importing US beef. Well, no matter what they think of imports on US beef, now they know what happens when they import US-mandated copyright law.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Korea Using Copyright Law To Crack Down On Protests It Doesn't Like?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
bikey says:

IP and political dissent

This story should open eyes to the potentially explosive damage to individual rights presented by the US insistence on obtaining extensive personal information on all travelers, US lobbying of EU legislators to criminalize a vast number of potentially infringing activities, and the until now secret Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty. It is safe to say that virtually everyone who uses the internet commits an IP infringing act, possibly every day, given the expanding nature of IP. With border guards empowered to stop travelers and check their electronic baggage, anyone critical of any regime could be detained. And then there’s detention…

Mel says:

Korea's unique problem

Korea does not have a freedom of speech problem. In the annual report produced by Reporters Without Frontiers, Korea is placed in front of the USA and UK as far as media freedom is concerned.

The current issue here is the inverse; irresponsible use of free speech. Many web sites and a couple of TV stations have broadcast knowingly absolute lies about the US beef issue. In a wired society like Korea this information or disinformation spread so fast that it became fact. This has led to huge street protests and brought the 4 month old Government close to collapse and given energy to political groups that are now preaching sedition. The Government is trying to contain a situation that if allowed to continue could result in anarchy.

Hugh Mann says:

Copyright is an "abuse" of free speech?

Uh . . . only if you feel it is “speech” to copy someone else’s creative expression.

There is the possibility of overlap between free speech rights and copyright protections, but the concept of fair use has been there pretty much from the beginning to address that issue.

Now, some have abused copyright law in ways that negatively impact free speech, but that is about individual efforts, not any inherent flaw in the concept of copyright. Plenty of people also abuse free speech. Or do you consider defamation laws an “abuse” of free speech also?


Carolyn (user link) says:

Copyright an "abuse" of free speech ??

Copyright is not an abuse of free speech, for heaven’s sake. Even though I usually enjoy this site, it’s getting so hysterical on the subject that it’s absurd.

There’s a reason copyright laws were created, and it wasn’t to give corporations the power to crush free speech. It was to prevent authors of works from watching publishers take their creative works without ever flowing the profits back to the creator.

Let’s not forget that corporations, governments or even individuals regularly abuse laws if doing so will benefit them. Just because copyright was used as an excuse for oppression in this case doesn’t mean copyright is therefore evil. You needn’t look much farther than our own US administration to see that.

To follow through on your logic, we ought to abandon all laws because they might (or have been) abused.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...