The Computer Program Protection Act has been amended in order to encourage the online dissemination of software. The amendments allow internet service providers (ISPs) to limit their liability in the case of any copyright infringement that takes place through their information networks.

One of the key changes establishes that software copyright holders may assign exclusive duplication and transmission rights for their programs. The recipient of these exclusive rights may only (i) operate within the limits set out in the assignment contract, and (ii) transfer the rights to a third party with the consent of the original copyright holder. The assignment lasts for three years unless otherwise specified in the contract.

The amendments also provide that a copyright holder may ask an ISP to intervene in the duplication or transmission of software if it believes its rights are being infringed. The ISP must immediately comply with such a request and notify any users of the interruption in service.

If, however, a user proves that he or she has a valid right to use the software and requests that the service be resumed, the ISP must notify the copyright holder immediately, providing details of the user's claim and the expected date of the resumption of service. Provided this notification procedure has been correctly followed, the ISP will not be held liable, or only have limited liability, for any violations of copyright or publication rights.

For further information on this topic please contact Bong Hee Han or Jung Wook Cho at Woo, Yun, Kang, Jeong & Han by telephone (+82 2528 5200) or by fax (+82 2528 5228) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).