With the Hadopi three strikes program in France kicking into full speed
, it may be worth jumping halfway around the world to South Korea, which put in place a very strict copyright law
last year, that included the ability to kick people offline for accusations (not convictions) of file sharing. It's worth noting, of course, that the reason South Korea put in place such a draconian copyright law was due to serious diplomatic pressure from the US as a part of a supposed "free trade" agreement
between the two countries. It's also worth pointing out that the trade agreement between South Korea and the US was, according to many, the basis for the initial draft of ACTA (though, obviously, it's changed a lot since then).
So, now that the law has been in place for over a year, what's been happening in South Korea? Well, it turns out that people are getting kicked offline for accusations of filing sharing -- but worryingly, it appears they're being kicked off with one strike
, not three. Glyn Moody
points us to a report on the data behind what's going on in South Korea
Now, it's important to understand the specifics of the law there. There are two ways a user can have his or her account suspended. The first is if the Minister of Culture orders the ISP to suspend the user. However, this can only come after the user has been warned three times (hence: three strikes). However, there's also a separate way, which is that the Copyright Commission can "recommend" that ISPs warn someone, block or delete materials believed to be infringing or suspend accounts. Deleting or suspending doesn't require any prior notice or warnings or anything. Basically, the Commission says "we recommend you censor this content and/or suspend this user" and the ISPs then have a choice to make. Guess what they do? That's right, they obey. Nearly every time. Out of over 65,000 "recommendations" by the Commission, ISPs have only declined to follow the recommendation 40 times -- 20 times in sending out warnings and 20 times in deleting content. It's never declined to follow a recommendation to suspend an account.
Below is the full chart of data concerning the Copyright Committee's recommendations, and what was done about them:
Hopefully, it's clear what's going on. Basically, the Commission has sent out a lot of warnings, and blocked/deleted a ton of content. A total of 31 users have had their accounts suspended -- again, with no indication that there was any number of warnings or pre-notice at all. Separately, the blog post in question does note that the other method (the actual three strikes way, involving the Culture Minister) has sent out a much smaller 275 warnings and 41 orders to delete content, but none to suspend accounts.