Saturday, December 17, 2005

A couple stories and an insight

A couple of articles to put together to come up with something interesting. Last month there was an article in the  Korea Times about Korean loses due to the illegal downloading of Korean movies. A study released by the Korean Film Council put loses in 2004 at 280 billion  won (about US$260 million). You can click to see the details of the study, but the disturbing element is the DVD market. The study put the DVD market in Korea at 100 billion won, and loses in the area at 28.5 billion. If you do the math you get the statistic that between 25-30% of DVD viewers (or more precise possible viewers) get a copy from the Internet. Add to this number to people who by fake DVD's and you get a pretty hefty segment of the market that see pirated wares over authentic. (The cynic in me notes that the statistics in this report are for Korean films only, one can only guess how foreign movies skew things).

Another little tidbit comes from a story about a Uri party lawmaker trying to trumpet a plan to crack down on illegal file swapping on line. The bill is essentially ho-hum (click if if you want), however I would like to use it to point out a greater problem in Korea. The proposal would make an ISP liable for not stopping users from swapping files. If they fail to do so, they can be fined up to 50 million won. Now lets do a little math. First let us assume the maximum penalty. For the sake of simplicity, lets take the only four ISP's of note in Korea (KT, Hanaro, Powercomm, and Dacom). If we were to assume that the losses from film downloads alone were spread equally, that means each ISP, under this bill, would be "responsible" for 70 billion in losses (Again I remind you that figure does not include foreign films or the larger category of online music which they would be responsible for as well). In any case the penalty to loss ratio is .001, I ask you does that really sound like a penalty? This is the modus operandi for most Korean fines, the time rarely fits the crime economically speaking.


At December 20, 2005 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not 50 million won per violation? It's not cumulative?


At December 21, 2005 5:37 AM, Blogger Dram Man said...


That was my first reaction. Re-reading the passage though lead me to conclude that its capped...

"The bill also says that the companies would be punished for up to 50 million won in penalty, if they don’t follow the government’s instruction."

Given the bill's content, I think it does not count each infringement but simply fining ISP's for allowing swapping. If you allow it your fined, regardless of how such is used.


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