On March 19, 2013, Open Net submitted its opinion on the proposed amendment to the Copyright Royalty Collection Rule of the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Korea (the “Rule”) to the Korea Copyright Commission (KCC).
The main argument of the opinion is summarized as follows:
Article 8 (1) of the Rule recognizes providing a commercial film for viewing in the library as a “performance” and therefore allows collecting a performance fee of KRW 350 per user from the library. The Rule seems to follow the official interpretation of the Ministry of Culture stating that it is a performance if a library user rents and watches a movie in the library. However, the interpretation cannot be more wrong.
First, a rental right of cinematographic works is not recognized under the Copyright Act. The Copyright Act only recognizes rental rights on phonograms or computer programs, which are exceptions to the first-sale doctrine. Recognizing rental in the library as a performance creates a rental right on films in violation of the Copyright Act.
Second, the Rule hinders libraries from serving their goals. Libraries promote access to information and alleviate the information divide. However, the Rule discriminates against the users without means to watch the films at home, and thus impairing the purpose of libraries.
What we need is a legislative solution rather than another interpretation. The Copyright Act should be amended to allow watching movies in the library.
Read Korean original here.