SEOUL, March 17 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s political community has launched a drive to legislate a new law that forces global Internet platforms to pay copyright fees in return for using news reports created by domestic media.
Thus far, global Internet platforms have chalked up huge profits while using such news sources for free.
Rep. Kim Yeung-shik from the main opposition People Power Party recently said that he will propose a revision of the Copyright Act and the Newspaper Act to require global Internet platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay copyright fees to domestic media.
Under the current Newspaper Act, there is no provision that requires Internet platforms to pay in return for using news reports created by the media.
Domestic portals such as Naver and Kakao return some of their advertising profits or copyright fees for the use of such news on the basis of autonomous negotiation with the media.
In contrast, global Internet platforms have not made any payments despite generating enormous advertising profits using such news content.
In response to a request from local media to pay copyright fees, Google refused to comply, saying “Google provides only search results and users have to visit the news sites to read the full text of the news.”
The revision, however, stipulates that businesses like Google which serve as a medium by arranging the news on the basis of search results or the analysis of user tendency should be defined as Internet news providers and therefore will be required to pay copyright fees.
The revision also clarifies that it covers businesses that produce an impact on the domestic market or audience even if their activities are conducted overseas, making it clear that foreign companies will be subject to the legislation.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)