ARTICLE: A LEGAL AND CULTURAL COMPARISON OF FILE-SHARING DISPUTES IN JAPAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE CYBER-REGULATION Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2008 Columbia Journal of Asian Law 
Columbia Journal of Asian Law

ARTICLE: A LEGAL AND CULTURAL COMPARISON OF FILE-SHARING DISPUTES IN JAPAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE CYBER-REGULATION

Fall, 2008

Columbia Journal of Asian Law

22 Colum. J. Asian L. 1

Author

JOHN LEITNER *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Japan and the Republic of Korea ("Korea") are large, international markets for the entertainment industry, and both nations have experienced legal and social battles relating to the introduction and growing popularity of file-sharing technology. During the past several years, civil lawsuits and criminal charges have been brought in Japan and Korea in an effort to combat online sharing of copyrighted works. The provider of the first major Japanese file-sharing service, File Rogue, was found civilly liable for copyright infringement, 1 and the Japanese programmer of the popular Winny file-sharing software was convicted of the crime of aiding and abetting copyright violations. 2 In Korea, legal action has taken the form of civil litigation against the providers of Soribada, the "Korean Napster," 3 and a limited number of criminal prosecutions of individual end users who shared copyrighted works. 4 While both Japanese and Korean owners of copyrighted content have aggressively litigated against providers of file-sharing services, there is reason to believe that each nation may have reached the limit of its socially acceptable legal options to combat file-sharing. Present conditions suggest that file-sharing will persist in both nations, but the frequency of file-sharing and its impact on the entertainment industry have been and will continue to be greater in Korea.

Korea and Japan present an interesting comparison because they share a number of significant similarities related to file-sharing. First, until 1957, Korean copyright law was substantively the same as Japanese copyright law. 5 The ...
 
 
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