The Korean government has approved the Online Digital Content Industry Development Act, which will protect online digital content and promote industries related to the production and development of such content. The act will come into force in July and will not have retroactive effect.

‘Online digital content’ is defined as any data (including text, images, sound or symbols) produced or processed in electronic form and made available online. An ‘online content producer’ is any person who programs or controls the production of such content.

The act prohibits anyone from taking advantage of the work of an online content producer, for example by copying or transmitting all or a substantial portion of the content. A producer can (i) obtain an injunction against a person who is likely to take such advantage, or (ii) claim compensation for damages from a person who has actually done so. There is a five-year limit on when such action can be taken, dating from when the content is first published.

Where the online content is protected by pre-existing copyright law, the copyright law will prevail over the new act.

For further information on this topic please contact Bong Hee Han or Beom Gyu Seong 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]).