Copyright is the right granted to creators to own and protect their works. The copyright law aims to protect the rights of creators and similar rights, while authorizing the fair use of their works. Also, it contributes to continued creativity, development of culture, and related industries. Works include film, music, art, literature, etc. The volume of copyrights and the variety of types protected are increasing at the same speed of the number of works. Along with this, the number of cases of copyright infringement is increasing, such as not revealing the source of funding, illegally copying, or using it commercially. What is the extent of the economic damage to the creative industries caused by illegal copying?
According to the Korea Copyright Protection Organiation's 2018 survey on the distribution of illegal copies, the industry size of illegal copies decreased 0.6% in 2018 compared to 2017. Music, movies, and broadcasting saw illegal copying decrease, but publishing and game rose each 13.6 percent and 4.6 percent. The industry’s economy damage related to legal works fell 0.2 percent in 2018. As with illegal copies, there are some areas where the amount of infringement has decreased, but in the case of broadcasting, it has increased by 23.5 percent. Despite the decrease in illegal copies compared to the previous year, the amount of damages amounted to 2.49 trillion won and the amount of infringement amounted to 905 million. If you look at the " Bamtoki" which had been a controversial copyright infringement cases, we can feel the seriousness of the situation. In 2018, operators of the illegal webtoon distribution site " Bamtoki " were arrested. " Bamtoki " is a site where illegal webtoons can be viewed for free, and operators have made unfair profits by promoting gambling sites and advertising. It is the 13th largest website in Korea with 1.16 million visitors a day on average, so the webtoon industry suffered 240 billion won in damages. The operator was arrested for violating copyright laws and related persons were wanted. The closure of " Bamtoki " seemed to end the illegal distribution of webtoons, but after 2019, similar sites have resurfaced. Illegal distribution sites and users are the correlation between supply and demand. The site is created because there are people who use it. What is the reality of illegal copying?
The Korea Copyright Protection Organization estimated that the number of people using illegal copying in 2018 was about 177.3 million. In 2018, the rate of using illegal copying was 43.4 percent, the highest in the last five years. usage rates have increased in all areas except for broadcasting content. Contrary to the experience rate, the awareness of copyright protection is high, a figure above 70%. Many people agreed with the view that the rights of creators should be respected and the protection of copyrights is helpful to users. Many people are exposed to illegal copying even though they know it's wrong. Why do people find illegal copying?
The reason for use and closing of illegal websites can be found in the survey of users of illegal copies. 55.4 percent said their use of illegal site was similar to that of last year, 7.9 percent said it increased, and 36.7 percent said it decreased. Reasons for the increase were higher prices of the genuine product, increased available of illegal content, and easier access to it. The reasons for the decline were copyright campaigns, articles, lawsuits, and tougher crackdowns. Lawsuits and crackdowns are keeping people self-awakening. But why is the impact so small?
If illegal sites are operated overseas or sites are made overseas, the investigation will be disrupted. It is difficult to ask for a cooperative investigation from overseas. In addition, suppliers frequently change their fake phones, making it impossible to know who the real users are, using virtual money, and avoiding the investigation network. This leads to delay in investigations. New sites can be created by simply changing their names and addresses, for this reason, being caught is low, allowing suppliers to resume their illegal operations quickly and easily. Also, the perception that users are not punished affected the utilization rate. But the truth is different. Users are also subject to punishment for infringement of their right to clone. As soon as the content is viewed, the data is downloaded to the user's device, which is equivalent to "temporary replication." Most users aren't aware of this and actually punishment are rarely imposed. Therefore, they are using illegal sites with lackadaisical thoughts. We know that illegal copying is the wrong way to consume, we must recognize that users are subject to punishment. We should practice it to eliminate legal problems and develop individual morality.
We become creators and consumers in our lives. We take time to think about something through movies, novels, and music, and sometimes it represents a turning point in our lives. In order to find and see works that make us feel many emotions, creators need an environment where they can focus on creating. Copyright infringement causes mental and economic damage to creators and causes a reduction in the industrial economy. This deprives the opportunity of businesses and creators to make and consumers to see and choose the works they want. To break the vicious cycle, we must consume creations in the right ways like avoid illegal downloads, pay prices.