by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
liability, portals, south korea

South Korea To Fine Portals If Their Users Upload Porn

from the that's-gonna-backfire dept

While we have problems with plenty of US laws when it comes to innovation and the technology industry, one thing this country has gotten right is making sure that service providers usually aren't blamed for the actions of their users. Between the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the CDA (both of which are mostly awful laws other than those small points within them), it seems that our laws recognize that an individual who does something on the site of an online service provider is responsible for those actions, rather than the service itself. This makes plenty of sense. You don't blame the phone company when someone uses a phone to commit a crime. You don't blame the highway department when a getaway car drives off on the highway. You blame whoever actually committed the crime. There have been efforts underway in the US to change this -- mainly because the service providers are easier to find and they often have a lot more money -- but that doesn't make it right.

Other countries haven't been as clear on this, and it appears some are going in the opposite direction. South Korea is looking to start fining web portals that make pornographic content available. Fines will also go to those who uploaded it, but clearly this law is targeted at the service providers. Apparently, explaining to the government that it's pretty much impossible to manually check every uploaded video isn't particularly convincing, as the gov't appears to have responded with "hire more people." Somehow, I get the feeling this won't do much to actually stop porn online, but could make things more difficult for various web portals in South Korea.

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  • identicon
    Overcast, 2 Aug 2007 @ 6:59am

    Yes, porn is only for the Elites there.

    I've been trying to keep porn out of my home network lately, as the in-laws have been staying with us for the last week or so - her younger brother was hitting all kinds of porn sites.

    Not that I'm opposed really, but he was doing it on my kid's PC and had no regard to any site - ended up getting the thing infected, etc...

    It's dang near impossible to block it all.

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

  • identicon
    Jamie, 2 Aug 2007 @ 7:40am

    I does seem a bit pointless

    Putting aside any morality questions about porn and its benefits/detriments to society, this law is stupid.

    Implementing laws that are impossible to comply with isn't going to work. Basically they are just passing the buck. The politicians want to do something about porn but can't think of any solutions that are really viable. So they pass a law that says to the ISPs, "It's your problem. Fix it or else."

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

  • identicon
    dorpus, 2 Aug 2007 @ 7:43am

    The real reason

    Korean porn surfers mostly watch Japanese porn, so this is one of those "protect Korean culture" laws.

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

  • identicon
    retailapathy, 2 Aug 2007 @ 8:03am

    I'm not a proponent of pornography, in fact, from a moral standpoint it's just plain wrong. But I just don't see why a government has the right to censor what content you can/cannot see and now they've passed that responsibility to the ISP!

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

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 2 Aug 2007 @ 8:33am

    "Hire more people"

    If so, for every portal to actually check everything uploaded, they will EASILY need more people hired than they can make a profit with.
    I hope their whole internet crashes into nothingness because nobody can bear the cost to provide a connection to users because of the overhead this will cause.
    That should teach the blasted government there.
    I will bet you the jerks in their government there don't have their internet access uploads monitored like this.
    Probably some provision that exempts the government from having to check their own network.

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

  • identicon
    Biffy, 2 Aug 2007 @ 8:44am

    But hey,

    It'll probably get some results though.

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

  • identicon
    hrmm, 2 Aug 2007 @ 9:22am

    I don't think they are aiming at downloaders but rather people that upload porn to their homepage provided by their ISP. In which case the ISPs will probably just take away that ability or charge a nice hefty fee for it.

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

  • identicon
    sam, 2 Aug 2007 @ 11:15am

    Knowing Korea it will just be another one of those laws that no one does anything about. Like Prostitution it is illegal, but they have designated red light districts. Some official probably just got paid to get it made into law

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

  • identicon
    Jason, 2 Aug 2007 @ 2:20pm

    top 10 traits of 1st World Countries

    1st World Countries

    1) Porn producers
    2) ...What was I talking about again?

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

  • identicon
    Bas, 3 Aug 2007 @ 12:32am

    Embedded Fines

    This would mean that they also have to forbid portals to host embedded objects. In your MySpace page for example you can embed the most viewed Video from Youtube. Assuming that S-K has similar sites, then if that most viewed clip is one day a steaming home-vid from some lonely house wife, the portal would get fined. 'Hire more people' would suddenly theoretically mean hiring billions of people to be able to monitor the ever changing content of old pages. That truly is the world upside down.

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

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