Thursday, 3 September 2009

Korea: copyright against censorship

Just as South Korea prepares to spend more on protecting IP, copyright law appears to have become a thorn in the side of the government’s historical revisionism.

The authors of A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea have successfully sued their publisher for copyright infringement for publishing an altered version of the work. The publisher had been repeatedly ordered to revise ‘leftist’ sections by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology under the Elementary and Middle School Education Law. The Hankyoreh reports that ‘the court said that while this law could be used to order a suspension of publication if an alteration order is violated, it cannot be used to limit the right to the integrity of the work by the publisher’. The alterations have been the subject of a campaign by history teachers.

It’s good to see that while copyright law has sometimes been used as an instrument of censorship, it can also have the capacity to prevent state meddling.

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