by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, free speech, korea, protests

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.

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  • identicon
    bikey, 19 Jun 2008 @ 11:32pm

    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...

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

  • identicon
    Mel, 20 Jun 2008 @ 1:20am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Hugh Mann, 20 Jun 2008 @ 8:16am

    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?


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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2008 @ 8:38am

    Shouldn't the opening read:

    Copyright law, by its nature, is a restriction of free speech. Some consider it to be an abuse on free speech --

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

  • identicon
    Carolyn, 20 Jun 2008 @ 8:45am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    mike allen, 20 Jun 2008 @ 11:16am

    now hang on

    copyright does not abuse free speech it is the way in which that some people use copyright to prevent free speech that cause the abuse of free speech. It is regreated that the courts of the USA in particuler followed by the EU are led in many ways to agree with these people.

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

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