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Online Korea TV shows provider ‘violated Copyright Act’

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KODHIT.COM, a website providing top-rated South Korean TV series, has violated the Copyright Act, according to the Intellectual Property Department. 

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This judgement came after two major TV broadcasters in South Korea sued the website for copyright violation.
Nusara Kanjanakul, director of the legal office of the Commerce Ministry’s Intellectual Property Department, said yesterday that the website had violated the Copyright Act BA 2558 on two counts, including modifying, copying and distributing content to the public without permission from copyright owners.
Moreover, if the website owner has earned revenue from advertising and used those for commercialise, it could also be subject to civil and criminal cases.
Under the Copyright Act, if Kodhit.com has benefited commercially from its actions, its owner could be subject to six months to four years in jail, and/or Bt100,000 to Bt800,000 in fines. But if there was no commercial benefit, it will face a fine of Bt20,000 to Bt200,000. 
Recently, Kodhit.com decided to discontinue its popular Korean TV series with Thai subtitles after it was sued by Seoul Broadcasting System and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, both based in the South Korean capital. 
Meanwhile, a provider of legal online video-on-demand (VOD) service said it welcomed this move as it would protect high-value intellectual property (IP). 
Artima Suraphongchai, head of marketing at iflix Thailand, told The Nation yesterday that taking legal action against private websites that had infringed content copyrights was a common trend globally to protect investment in the creation of IP.
“The recent decision of the two media companies in South Korea was not surprising for our industry because they have the right to protect their own IP, which has been created by their own investment and creativity,” she said. 
However, she acknowledged that one reason people were attracted to pirated content was that the current legal offerings did not meet their needs. The challenge is for legal services like iflix to work with studios to meet the needs of consumers better in terms of offerings and price. 
As well, content owners should seek proper ways to work with legal players in online VOD business to offer valued service legally. 
“The rights of content creators and owners must be respected,” she stressed.
 

Published : November 17, 2016

By :  PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI, WATCHIRANONT THONGTEP THE NATION