“Real” Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Law Campaign

Korean penal law on child sexual abuse were amended in 2011 to include under the definition of “child pornography” those materials in which animation or adult actors appear as children characters. The simple change brought disasters both for animation industry and internet users.

The Juvenile and Children’s Sex Protection Act carries heavy punishment for all forms of sexual abuse, e.g., minimum 5 years for producing child pornography, and imposes 20 years home address tracking and 10 years employment restriction, all on the assumption that such abuse harms children. With the 2011 amendment, all the ‘virtual’ materials involving or intimating no minor are punished at the same level.

Cartoonists and animators, formerly risking only cultural crimes such as obscenity but now facing all the stigma and punishment attendant upon the offenders of real children, cancelled projects, leaving many jobless. The police began zealously booking the internet users who downloaded the torrent files, which they could charge only to the lighter crime of obscenity (max. 1 year), increasing the annual number of booked child sex offenses 22 times to 2,224 in 2012!

Open Net Korea believes that punishing imaginary child material the same as real child material is a violation of free speech: It is like punishing the producer of the film as drug dealer on account that the film imagines drug-dealing, punishing the producer of many homicide movies as murderers. In fact, the amended law hurts minors as many of the four thousands uploaders investigated are minors themselves and mass surveillance on minors drains the police personnel away from investigating crimes involving real children.

Open Net has provided legal advice to more than 100 people facing investigations and various stage of trials, actually represented pro bono (or had a contract attorney represent at-cost) 20-30 at criminal trials, filed (or helped file) three separate constitutional challenges against the law to which two lower courts agreed, backed one bill removing the effects of the previous amendment by hosting two different seminars at National Assembly and online and offline petition drives.

This is a campaign headquarter page that you can find all the resource materials and bases for actions.

You can participate in the online petition drive here (Korean).

Frequently Asked Questions on Korean virtual child pornography law

Brochure calling for legislative reform page 1 page 2

FAQ for Those Facing Investigations (Search and Seizure Manuals, etc.)

Do-it-yourself briefs for defendants in virtual child porno cases    

Online video counseling for defendants in virtual child porno cases

Submission to National Assembly in Support of Amendment

Video Clip – Wikitree Talkshow – Park Kyungsin with an animator and a cartoon critique

<Article> Park Kyung-Sin, “Unconstitutionality of Virtual Child Pornography Law”, Kyung-Sang University Law Review, Vol.21, No.2 (경상대학교 법학연구 제21권 제2호), April 2013

<Judgment> Judge Moon Hong-Joo, 2013chogi509 (referring the animation case to constitutional review), August 2013

<Judgment> Judges Jang Soon-wook, Cha Eun-kyung, Kang Se-bin, 2013no1215 (finding the adult actor case not guilty under constitutional interpretation of the law), June 2013

<Judgment> Judge Byun Min-sun, 2013chogi617 (referring the animation case to constitutional review), May 2013

    For further information, contact K.S. Park, unbeatenpath.park@gmail.com