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Market Based Anti-American Sentiment: A Study of Non-Resident Copyright Protection

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Thayer, James D.

Issue Date
BK 21 law
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.3 No.2, pp. 193-207
With more than 60 percent of all Korean households having high-speed Internet access, Korea is one of the worlds most wired countries.1) According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and others, many Koreans use this high-speed access not only to surf the web but also to trade in pirated goods.2) Many U.S. companies alleging harm from this piracy currently lobby the Korean Government - often through the USTR - to continue to improve the enforcement and establishment of non-resident copyright protection in Korea.3)

At a general level, this international struggle between United States producers and Korean consumers is the same struggle that exists between producers and consumers within the United States itself. For example, in the U.S., domestic producers of goods protected by copyright laws lobby the United States government for increased copyright protection. Simultaneously, domestic consumers lobby the same government for increased access to protected goods. This struggle is inherent in the United States constitutional authority that allows for copyright protection in order [t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts.4) That is to say, the constitutional authority behind copyright protection seeks to

encourage creativity without unduly hindering the publics access.

One difference in this international arena is that Koreas copyright policy is being heavily influenced by an outside source. The outcome of the struggle between incentive and access in Korea is being largely decided by the United States. Such a model can lead to neglect of domestic Korean consumer interests. Instead of the Korean market dictating Korean copyright policy, U.S. producers of videos, music, and software are. As this paper will discuss, one result of this structure is an increase in anti-American sentiment in Korea.
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