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.