Foreign Pornographers Sue Korean Netizens for Copyright Violations

      August 14, 2009 09:26

      A group of U.S. and Japanese pornography makers are suing nearly 10,000 Korean Internet users for copyright infringement and illegal transactions of copyrighted content.

      According to local police on Thursday, a U.S. firm which handles the copyrights of some 50 U.S. and Japanese pornographers has hired Korean law firm Hanseo and filed lawsuits against around 10,000 heavy uploaders who profited by transferring copyrighted pornography to other websites.

      About 3,000 complaints have been filed with the Seocho Police Station in southern Seoul alone, while Mapo and Yongsan Police Stations have also received several hundreds of complaints.

      The U.S. firm, known only by its initial C, reportedly stated, "Korean Internet sites distribute foreign pornography to Korean Internet users without permission from the producers, and make commercial use of it by charging subscriptions fees or fees per download."

      However, as the very act of distributing pornography is illegal in Korea, the case is expected to spark heated legal debate over whether company C's copyright claims are valid.

      A lawyer who runs a private solicitor's office in Seocho-dong said, "It is nonsense to ask the court to protect the copyright of an illegal item. It would be like a thief asking the police to find a purse that he had stolen after he lost it."

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