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Intellectual Property and Ripping Shit Off in Korea

August 1, 2013

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Ok, so this is a bit of a random topic, but it’s something we feel is worth talking about. It doesn’t have a lot of practical info for you if you’re coming to visit Korea. Not like you need to know what things to pack and, also, worry about your copyrights, but it’s a topic we’re somewhat passionate about, since it’s one that affects us. Korean businesses rip off a lot of other people’s shit, and that freaking sucks. We talked about a couple of stories today in which we were affected, but there are others, some of which we had to settle out of court, that we won’t be talking about here.

The legal jargon of copyrights and intellectual properties is something that’s beyond us. I’m sure there’s a lot of legality to the issue that we just don’t have the knowledge to speak about, and I’m sure some people who are lawyers in Korea will be able to say in so many words that it’s not copyright infringement if blankity blank blank fart blank. Or, who knows: maybe there are some laws about international intellectual property here in Korea that allow for Angelina Jolie bars to run. Or maybe Angelina Jolie was like “yeah! I’d love to have my pics all over a bar in Bucheon” Who knows. All we can really comment on is our experiences and how we perceive the situations around us.

At the same time, I remember reading a while ago that a tech company, namely SpaceX, won’t patent its intellectual property, simply because China would just use that as a recipe book. Great metaphor, really, and basically gives us the impression that we have here. Ideas from other countries can be ripped off, and there isn’t really much that can be done to stop it.

Side note: I know some of you know what company we were referring to that took a lot of our footage after we refused to be on the show. Buuut, notice how we didn’t name them? Why, you might ask? Defamation laws! Korea’s got some bizarre laws in which you can’t publicly say bad things about people, even if those things are freaking goddamned 100% true. We have close friends of ours who recently got fired from their schools wrongfully, and assaulted by the school’s owner as well, but they can’t go public with that on the internet because they’d get sued for defamation. I’m sure that there’s more subtlety and variation to the law, but we’re not familiar enough with it. All we know is that it’s damning enough to be afraid of speaking out publicly. And, seeing how this is a big company that we’re talking about, and we’re just petty foreigners with little protection here, we’re going to be as vague as possible. Yep.

Anyhow, you heard us also mention in the video the idea not only that we didn’t want to be in that major network’s video, but also the reason WHY we didn’t want to be there, which we just touched on a bit. Basically, we get contacted from time to time from TV shows who want us to play the role of the fun foreign couple who comes to Korea and is amazed by everything. “Oh! The food is so spicy but so delicious! We did not know your country makes such great food! Wow! And it is good for your health too! This country amazes me so much!” What’s bizarre about these shows is that they’re on Korean channels, spoken by Korean hosts, subtitled in Korean (or, they even want us to say these things in Korean), and aired for a Korean audience. What purpose do these shows serve, apart from feeding the audience’s sense of nationalism and pride? It’s not educational. It’s not meant for other countries to watch. It’s ego-stroking, really. We agreed to do those shows before we really knew what they were like and the message they conveyed, but now we’re not interested in doing them. Does that mean that we refuse all shows? No. There’s another major network we’ve been speaking with who have suggested a cool concept for a show, which we’re totally down for, and which doesn’t reek of nationalism.

And, sure, I know some people will say that the nature of those shows we’re against is essentially what we do with our videos as well: we’re showing the world the awesomeness of Korea. But there’s a difference, I think. We can talk about things that are annoying. We can say what we think is wrong. Sure, whenever we do say something negative it’ll come at the cost of getting nationalist netizens demanding our deportation, but we’re at least trying to come at Korea with a grain of salt. We’re more interested in sharing our stories, rather than spreading a message of Korea’s supremity. We’ll do the same no matter what country we’re in.

Ok, this got a bit heated. Sorry for ranting. This TV show thing annoyed us, and what better place to talk about it than here? You guise are cool people with whom we can discuss these things rationally. You commenting Nasties are legit :D We’re more than ok with talking about any of the points here, about copyrights and intellectual property and trying to get a better understanding of Korea’s stance on it, or even about our positions on different kinds of Korean TV shows with foreigners. Let us know what you think.

Oh, and lastly, if you like this video and want more like em, click on this button below to let us know. It’s definitely worth the energy it takes to click the button :D

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Intellectual Property and Ripping Shit Off in Korea

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  1. What do you think of other artists using kpop songs? There’s this Dominican singer called ‘LA MATERIALISTA’ (The Materialist) that released a song called Chipi Cha Cha. The lyrics of the song are saying how she’s the best and everyone else is cheap. But…the track and the dance is from 2ne1’s I Am The Best.

    7 years ago
    • Hmm… Idk what to think about this. I think covers are alright as long as the original singer and/or their label is okay with it, and if there is money, the creator gets their cut.

      7 years ago
  2. LOL! Well, years after I returned from a trip to Andong’s Hahoe Village a co-worker came back from their Korean Adventure and informed me that the moment they thought they had gotten away from any thought of work they picked up an information brochure to find a picture of me dancing with the national performers. As he left, he said they also have a poster.. SO next time I visit Andong I totally expect a free soda and admission for my support of the arts. ;) And God, I hope they don’t actually sell the poster…. =o

    7 years ago
  3. I was extremely mad when i saw that video… becuse they take down translators from youtube, but they can do it with you… grrr… I’m still mad…

    7 years ago
  4. A small note on copyright issues and small countries. Back in the day (around 2005 to 2006), a couple of friends and I had the idea to create a streaming video channel dedicated exclusively to J-Pop, K-Pop and culture for countries outside Japan and Korea – and make the stream blocked in Asia (this was in the time streams from those countries were blocked to us as well), available through a small membership fee and translated into English and Spanish. We had the technical knowledge, we had the cultural knowledge – of course we weren’t loaded, but it’s something we believed in and wanted to put our effort and money in.

    First step, contact KOMCA (Korea) and JASRAC (Japan) and ask them what the fees for such an enterprise would be. We even translated the e-mails into Korean and Japanese respectively and called them numerous times. WE NEVER GOT AN ANSWER BACK. To this day, I am still guessing it’s because I was a nobody asking for information. After reading extensively, I finally reached the conclusion that there would be some international copyright enforcement. Yes, JASRAC and KOMCA had an agreement with the local music copyright agency in my country (APDAYC) for the activities we wanted to make.

    All bright and sunny, I went to APDAYC the very next day to inquire for more information. After waiting for three hours, they told us we had to make a list of the specific videos and content we would be streaming. Fortunately by then, we had our video libraries organized and sorted out to the point of being OCD-ish, so a list was ready pretty soon. The very next day I marched into APDAYC’s offices, presented the list along with my points of contact, and left. I STILL HAVEN’T GOT A RESPONSE FROM ANYONE YET – for those counting, it’s been seven to eight years.

    After hundreds of harassing calls, I got the information from a secretary saying that my petition would never even be viewed or considered, since they had NO INTEREST IN IT and I quote “it was too much of a hassle to even consider”. I ended up calculating the fees through the hefty PDF contracts they have available online and we would have had to pay around 10 to 15k USD in fees. Monthly.

    Since we never got an official response, even after wanting to make our channel official, we desisted. But, rest assured, if we had gotten that seal of approval, we WOULD HAVE PAID THE FEES. Shortly afterwards, our videos were banned one by one from all streaming video sites then (Youtube wasn’t one of them).

    Long story short, some copyright authorities are just lazy little b%&$#es who won’t lift a finger to help inform you on WHAT ou have to do to comply with law. They only dedicate to “enforcing” copyright, instead of actually innovating and helping the artists garnish profit.

    7 years ago
  5. Since you guys brought it up, were there any laws, or lack thereof, that really surprised you when you first went to Korea?

    7 years ago
  6. Actually I was wondering about this when I starting viewing your Music Mondays. I notice that you put some clips of the music videos in your reviews and I was wondering if that’s ok in Korea? I know in America it’s really hard to use someone else’s (a very large and powerful company’s) video/music/pictures in their your own videos on Youtube without them being taken down.

    7 years ago
  7. Jo

    I don’t know if you guys read Cracked (you totally should) but they just had an article somewhat similar to this! http://www.cracked.com/article_19179_6-people-who-had-no-clue-their-faces-were-world-famous_p2.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fanpage&utm_campaign=new+article&wa_ibsrc=fanpage

    7 years ago
  8. Jo

    celebrity pictures are public domain, once they are posted somewhere online they are free use unless they are sold by the person who took the picture/has a copyright claim to the picture. If you’re not careful with your facebook pic privacy settings, those too turn into public domain and can be used by anyone.

    7 years ago
  9. I remember when I was little and some photographer took a picture of me when I was at a camp and then used it in an ad for welfare for orphans. Let’s just say that my mom was a little angry, lol

    7 years ago
  10. my only two points of reference of copyright/patent laws in south korea
    1. my awesome bb cream has a registry number that can be checked for authenticity. local mega-Korea-mart sells fakes.
    2. kdrama “I Do, I Do” has a designer spying a knock-off of her shoe, chases down the culprit herself!! (in 4″ heel) and nobody really cares too much. she has to beat him and drag him into the police station personally and then file charges.

    7 years ago
  11. I enjoyed the samsung burn ^^

    7 years ago
  12. thanks guys ….I always enjoy the TL DR s…..so when the rookie girl group used jyj”s mission for their intro at a concert it was NO big deal then..?!!!! lol…..it wasn’t a big deal for me anyways…..btw did you already announce the winners of xia”s CD’s??

    7 years ago
  13. TRUE DAT!

    7 years ago
  14. That really stinks that they used your information without permission.

    7 years ago
  15. It sounds terrifying to be a photographer in S. Korea. (What I would like to do one day) You’d have to protect every image you took like crazy. >.<

    That sucks about the show… I mean that is NOT ok… at all… yet it still happens… dumbfounds me

    7 years ago
  16. Could you do a tl;dr on digital piracy in Korea? I know that it’s a big deal, but I don’t know very much about the specifics. ^^

    7 years ago
  17. I remember when WonderBoyz debuted, their company ripped off the Warner Brothers (WB) logo. They ended up changing it so I guess things didn’t go down well lol.

    7 years ago
  18. I have a question, if I wanted to do dance covers of kpop songs, is that breaking the copyright law?
    I wouldn’t claim it to be mine or anything (duh) so I was just wondering. Sorry for the stupid question haha

    7 years ago
    • I don’t think so? In my experience it seems fine as long as you’re clear with that the song isn’t yours. Disclaimers, you know? But don’t take my word for it, I’m not sure!

      7 years ago
  19. Samsung is one of the biggest thieves in the world when it comes to stealing. All that Samsung branded medical equipment (for example) is a replica of stuff from GE and other device companies. They outright just copy everything. They are basically doing the same Japan did in the 60-70’s. The theft is so expensive to fight and takes so long it often isn’t worth it. That said, Apple is one of the few companies that fights out of principle.

    Side note: the USA/Canada was the same back in the 1800’s: stealing intellectual property from UK/Europe. Korea just needs to mature as a country.

    7 years ago
    • If you’re referring to that Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit, then that was more Apple trying to cockblock the Galaxy S3 from competing with the iPhone

      7 years ago
  20. Those really are large scale rip-offs. I’m sorry to hear that you guys have had trouble with copyright infringement, that sucks. If people could see things from other’s point of view, and add a tad bit of respect to that, nothing like this would be happening. Makes me grumpy.

    7 years ago
  21. why do i feel like i know what tv program your talking about…hey simon and martina~! i saw you on an mnet show, they showed a clip of one of your music mondays a while back. although im not sure if thats who you were talking about.

    7 years ago
    • They said in the Youtube comments that MNET has permission to use their videos.
      But the most popular comment tells you who ;P

      7 years ago
  22. I’m totally on your side about the copyright infringement issue, but I want to point out that a lot of this stuff IS rampant in the U.S. too, but only on the smaller scales. Walk any major city’s streets and you’ll see individual street vendors with knock-offs of everything (and not just in the shady part of town that feels like the black market). Now, a bar, an established place of business, that uses a celebrity’s name and likeness? Heck no, that won’t last. But the selling of the Kpop socks or brand names tweeked a bit or logos slightly morphed… yeah. That kind of thing is everywhere here too. It definitely matters how small vs. grand scale. TV stations or restaurants abusing copyrights? Crackdown for sure. Individual street vendors or small local companies/flea markets/etc. abusing copyrights? They fly under the radar and exist everywhere.

    7 years ago
  23. Man I hope you guys are able to do something about that tv channel, I know it’s unlikely but it would be awesome if you guys could get the laws to say “nope, you can’t be an asshat, PAY UP”

    7 years ago
  24. The very first time I visited Korea, I pointed out a shop to my Korean husband (then boyfriend) with the name of a famous actor. I asked him, “Is that even okay to do here??” And he just shrugged like it was no big deal. Same thing for when we would walk down the street and see the logo for Crocs but renamed. But the thing that drives me craziest is hearing music from The Lord of the Rings soundtrack or Harry Potter, etc. being used on very popular variety shows, and knowing without a doubt that they’re not paying for use of the intellectual property.

    7 years ago
    • I also saw a clothing store called OPRAH which I don’t think she endorsed. =)

      7 years ago
  25. Korean varieties will use other musicians music without their permission, but when it’s vice versa Papa YG gets pissed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJoYKDYmT0I

    7 years ago
    • This is because she claimed it as her own. And I’ve never seen a YG artist or group perform a song and claim it as their own.

      7 years ago
    • Oh My goodness when is YG gonna sue her for blatantly coping 2ne1’s ” I am the best”? She is even doing a public performance with her version of 2ne1’s copied song.

      7 years ago
  26. I feel so bad now. I actually watched that episode because of you guys since I saw a thumbnail of you on the site I just thought that you weirdly updated something on Tuesday. I see where your going at I guys that really sucks. Its why there are always those plastic surgery clinics that gets into trouble for false advertisement and no respect for peoples intellectual property. I think laws in Korea are screwed over to the benefit of those with money or in power.

    7 years ago
  27. excuse my ignorance, but does any of you long time nasties know which company they are referring to? i know they can’t name it personally but maybe you guys can do it for them, i really wanna knowww

    7 years ago
  28. I miss my kpop socks… my Onew socks are my best friend(s)…

    7 years ago
  29. wow. I did not know you had the whole “issue/situation” with the “company that shall remain unnamed”. it didn’t even happen to me and I feel raged for you. I can’t believe they would do that. it’s just so not cool not even asking for permission or letting you know that they used your footage. total dicky move!

    7 years ago
  30. It was very weird for me coming into the Kpop fandom after being in the Anime Fandom because I used to make AMV’s and all those years ago you would make one and if your luck was bad it would be taken down within a day. And with Kpop you can use clips from the MVs in whatever you want! But I guess that is just a difference between Japanese copyright laws and Korean ones

    7 years ago
    • Yes,Japanese copyright is hugely strict! They even set a law of 10 years prison for any crime related to copyright.

      7 years ago
  31. What do you think of One Direction’s use of BAP’s picture in their music video?

    7 years ago
    • Which music video? I don’t follow One Direction. ^^

      7 years ago
    • They used pictures of several iconic boybands such as the Backstreet boys, Village people, House of m, etc, that’s not ripping off anything neither it’s offensive, it’s not secret kpop bands are the ultimate commercialised move on music and they just don’t want to be that. Besides, it’s highly likely they paid for it. I’m tired of seeing kpopers complaining about it. It’s getting obnoxious.

      7 years ago
      • I love BAP and I didn’t feel it offensive at all, because they weren’t talking about bap, they were talking about 1D trying to look like other band, not only bap or kpop bands.

        7 years ago
        • idk, it feels disrespectful to do that to a picture of someone else no matter who it is :/ but whatever

          7 years ago
      • B.A.P. is a group of talented guys who overcame amazing odds (their albinism) to form a highly successful boy band. They’re heroes, and 1D should be ashamed.

        Seriously though, of course Kpop is commercialized. I’m a fan, and I’m both aware and content with that. But for the most part Kpop doesn’t really tout itself as something more significant. 1D (or more accurately, their management and record company) has though, and what’s worse is they took a crap on others while doing it.

        I can’t even stay mad, though.

        7 years ago
        • I’m not discussing if they’re good or bad because I’m a fan of both, but stating 1D is wrong or should be ashamed is an over reaction. Again, just because their reaction was they didn’t want to copy or look other boy bands, neither kpop bands or other type of boy bands isn’t an insult, and if anyone finds it offensive probably that person should back off the computer and re think about their lives.

          7 years ago
      • except 1D is waaaaaayyyyyyy more commercialized than BAP. lmao. also, you say it’s not offensive yet go back and say kpop bands are commercialized and 1D doesn’t want to be that. so…. BAP is in their video to be made fun of then? so how is that not offensive again??

        7 years ago
        • you’re just going in circles now. which one is it? you said, “it’s not secret kpop bands are the /ultimate commercialised move on music/ and they just don’t want to be that” and that is highly offensive. and then go around and say “they’re refusing to look like a kpop band because that’s not what they are” which is not offensive because yeah, they aren’t a kpop band.

          honestly, i’m not offended by 1D’s video at all. i got what they were trying to say in the video. i was more offended on what YOU said on behalf of them. your explanation on what they were trying to state was seriously flawed in delivery. it was insulting the way you worded it. like, “ohhhh BAP is the ultimate commercialized move on music and 1D is not that.” so explain to me what exactly ‘THAT’ in your sentence is referring to? being commercial or being a stereotypical pop dancing boyband? because, FACT; they ARE way more commercial than BAP. if the point was that they didn’t want to be another dancing pop boyband, then heck yeah, okay good on them, but your poor choice of wording just did not go for me, man. not one bit.

          7 years ago
        • In any case, I apologise on “the choice of wording” because English isn’t my first language and apparently it came across more aggressive than it was actually intended.

          However, I still don’t see how pointing out the truth is offensive. Korean industries hire idols when they’re about 13 years old, they put them together regardless if they get along together or not, they band and disband groups at their will and so on. They are literally a product. They are indeed commercial, and that’s okay, I like it, I consume it. But One Direction aren’t that type of boyband, such as they aren’t like the others bands they used in the video.
          True, Management control 1D a lot, and I’m telling this because I’ve noticed how restricted they’ve been the last half and a year in everything they do, and yes, that’s being commercial which I guess it’s inevitable and I’m fine with that, but putting them to dance wearing certain clothes or hair like a K-pop band isn’t what they are. “That” referred to a kpop band in general. It wasn’t meant to sound like something negative at all, if that’s what you’re implying.

          Right now I honestly feel you’re looking for excuses in my words to feel offended because you think you should be offended rather than because there are actual reasons for it.

          7 years ago
        • i already explained myself. i DID say that it was the choice of wording that got me offended. your original choice of sentencing implied that BAP was the commercial one while 1D isn’t. i was just pointing out that 1D is way more commercialized than BAP. now, what you’re talking about when you say they dance, and wear costumes and have planned out hairstyles, etc is being manufactured. being manufactured and commercialized are not one and the same although they do go hand in hand. what i understood from your first statement was that since 1D is not as manufactured as BAP, it somehow implies that BAP are lesser than them. or less talented. pointing out that kpop boybands are manufactured is not offensive. but implying that they are somehow lesser because of it however, IS. that’s what i got when i read your comment.

          i’m not LOOKING for reasons to be offended. i read your comment and it offended me the first time i read it. i usually don’t bother to comment if i don’t care about it enough. it’s not like i read your comment 100 times with magnifying glasses to try and make myself offended by it. that’s just stupid. i commented because i felt strongly about it enough to respond. english isn’t my first language either and if it wasn’t your intention to offend people then that’s fine and i have no problem w/ that and i apologize for not trying hard enough to understand what you were trying to say. it’s a miscommunication on both our parts then. but don’t insult me by saying that i’m trying to make an issue out of nothing. peace.

          7 years ago
      • So isn’t it meant to be an insult when they say they don’t want to be them? I’m a bit confused. One Direction is known by way more people than BAP. It’s true BAP is very widely promoted. But it’s catered to the Kcommunity/Kpop community who already know of them. BAP isn’t in the mall, at Party Stores, or cutouts in North America or most of the Western world like 1D. I think their “statement” is redundant.

        7 years ago
        • “North America or most of the Western world like 1D.” False statement. A lot of North America (Where I live) view 1D the way they do Justin Beiber but probably in a better light. Before people jump down my throat, I mean they’re like the Jonas brothers of this new generation. They’re hot to most teens or tweens and they can actually hold a note, so they sell a lot of records. I.E. Eye candy with a bonus of good voices.

          The grown up version of North America is either has no opinion, are casual fans meaning they know some of their songs but couldn’t tell you who the members are to save their lives.

          Then there’s the last group which I personally sorry to say fall under. I don’t hate the band but people who find ways to talk about them in every topic piss me off. Not saying you did that here, cause the poster thing did have something to do with the topic. What I’m trying to say is people should not put their own opinions on a group’s popularity on a whole global hemisphere. I know people who are ape shit crazy over 1D, and I know a ton more who are predicting they will be viewed negatively like Justin B cause the fans are too strong and crazy about talking about them. I only know two of their names and I am an adult, not an old adult mind you. None of my friends can name off every single member. Please stop saying North America. It’s not true.

          7 years ago
        • Agree with you. And this is not only in North America, it’s in general. I feel like some fans just look for an excuse to complain about things where they had nothing to do with it.

          7 years ago
  32. An artist I like on tumblr had her art stolen and used without her permission by DISNEY. They took the artwork and concept and printed it onto t shirts and tote bags as Alice in Wonderland. it was a very popular piece of work that a few people had tattooed onto their bodies. She does alot of 2NE1 fanart too, her name is Katie Woodger amd she’s on Tumblr and DeviantArt.

    7 years ago
  33. Regarding the use of song clips on variety shows; Broadcasters, I’m pretty sure globally, are supposed to have a license with the Music/ Composition Royalities of that territory, which in turn collects the royalities from the program for the music used. It’s sort of a blanket one-off licence dependant on length/ use etc. The way it usually works is that after the program has been edited with music and sound effects, a playlist detailing song/ artist/ length of use gets sent to the Music Publishers association (in Canada it’s SOCAN, in the US it’s RIAA, Korea would have their own agency.). The association then sends an invoice for the use of music to the broadcasters to pay. The association collects and redistributes the royalities to the artists/ composers/ producers/ other international licencing agencies. The broadcasters essentially can use any copyrighted music thanks to this licence.

    Other than that, in Asia, the very thought of respecting intellectual property is fairly foreign as even within there is stealing of ideas everywhere. There is a thought where the inability to take someone’s idea and make it thier own suppresses innovation and creativity. Asking for permission to do this, seems also to be a foreign concept – some literally just.don’t.know. Course ignorance doesn’t absolve you from the crime either – but just seeing just how different Asia was some 30 years ago compared to the rest of the world – this is more like the growing pains of a very quickly developing country.
    I think a good case in favour would be Bahnus Vacuum vs Hyori who literally resold already copyrighted songs for one of her albums. Hyori, perhaps at the time, not having the knowledge or need of verifying its ownership, used a App downloaded on her iPhone to check whether or not the song existed already. (3 of the songs were originally produced by Canadian artists and were not really well known.) Netizens, within days, determined all the songs (I think 5 of 7 songs on the album) to be stolen and contacted the artists notifying them … and I believe the guy who misrepresented Bahnus Vacuum is serving jail time.

    7 years ago
  34. I guess Copyright issues are quite hard to handle, expecially if there’s such a difference in language and culture…but, well, even the fact that we’re talking about this topic on your blog is the result of the free spreading of information throught the world thanks to internet, social networks, youtube channels and each and every form of open source knowledge…just like everything else, there are good and bad points about it and about the way societies are evolving right now!

    7 years ago
  35. did you contact the tv show who aired your videos like ” why did you took our videos? why didnt you tell us? why havent you atleast mention EYK on your tv show?
    im pretty curiouse what they think about it, like ” oh no this is fine, everybody does it. we didnt steal your videos. this is Korea”

    7 years ago
    • They must have because the video is no longer up online; no one can find it now

      7 years ago
  36. I saw the video yesterday. After watching this tl:dr, I went to look for it again, but it seems they have removed it from youtube. I can’t believe they just stole your stuff like that! :(

    7 years ago
  37. There are also a ton of clothing companies that take DeviantArt artists’ artwork and print them on shirts and sell them online and in the markets. These shirts end up in HK and even worn by K-pop idols and that’s the only way that the artists find out.

    7 years ago
    • Nic

      Even major publishing companies do this! Like companies that can pay for proper cover art for books will just steal images. If you are familiar with a lot of art on deviant art, have a look in the romance section of a book store and you’ll see a lot of familiar things.
      I had a stock image of me (taken by my sister) be used in a mock up cover- which I gave permission for because it was just supposed to be the draft – I assumed the cover would then use properly paid for stock images or be painted. They didn’t get permission for the image to actually be on the final book cover and I only found out by seeing the book in a book store! I complained and got paid a tiny amount for it… but this was a huge well known company!

      7 years ago
    • What?! That’s awful! I didn’t know… At least now I won’t ever get a DeviantArt account. Thanks a bunch for telling!

      7 years ago
      • Yes, a few very popular artists have had it done to them. They’ve also had their art on book covers in South America without their prior knowledge or consent. It’s pretty horrible. DeviantArt is so wonderful and a great way to make a name for yourself, but putting your art anywhere on the internet is always a risk.

        7 years ago
        • I started reading about it after I read your comment. Looks like it’s always worth it to consider the risks when going public with your art on the net, if you don’t have registered copyright and still want to keep it as your own.

          7 years ago
  38. It does seem that copyright just isn’t a thought that goes through many people’s heads if they were brought up in Asia since it seems Asia doesn’t really teach copyright. In one if my video classes we had to come up with a story, script, act it out, film it and present it to the class. I remember going online and searching my butt off trying to find music clips and sound effects that could be used royalty free for school projects and found some (btw I suggest this place for any of you who have school projects that need sound or music. All he wants is a little credit note at the end. =D http://incompetech.com/ )

    But anyway since our foreign exchange student was an actor for our group we went about the project as we always would. There was a group made up entirely of foreign exchange students and they had ripped some popular music to use in their video and didn’t have the slightest idea that they were doing anything wrong. The professor began explaining what copyright was and it was clearly news to them.

    As countries become more and more globally connected I do believe it is an issue that should be more widely known about and taught.

    As an artist I would be very upset if someone ripped my things off and started using it to make money for themselves or to advertise their product without my permission because they would be taking away from what I do (or am trying to do) for a living.

    There is royalty free stuff you can find out there if only more people knew that it existed.

    7 years ago
  39. Seriously, Asia and copyright = sucktastic baby. You can even get an International patent or even a specifically Korean patent on your tech and it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on T^T. I think that SpaceX is very clever to not patent, VERY. At my old job, a Chinese conglomerate partner (because you have to partner to work in China) actually asked our VP to sign a blank paper and when she asked to see the content before signing it, it turned out to be a free license to steal all our tech. She didn’t sign it. They stole it anyways. As has every single other company we had worked with in Asia, and there have been many. We’re talking extremely complex and multi-million dollar tech here too. And there is nothing my international company could do. Nothing. You can’t even avoid them, you end up working WITH them with CRAPPY versions of your own tech that don’t even work properly while they get all the money or you are blacklisted from working anywhere in the Pacific rim. My old company did work in Korea, but only once and I can guess that the returns were not worth the loss in tech.

    As for film footage/logos/photos/etc., I don’t think it’s a matter of thinking they are too small to pursue, it’s a matter that the courts will just laugh the wronged party out of the room. Or perhaps it’s the price that’s paid for cheap manufacturing in Korea. It’s totally in Korean’s (insert any other Asian country’s name that isn’t Japan here) best interest to keep making other people’s products because they are sure-fire sellers both at home and abroad. I would venture to say that it’s a large part of GDP. If they stopped it or discouraged it, it would be a huge hit to the economy. Also, if the world weren’t so intent on manufacturing for cheap in the Pacific Rim, their IP stuff wouldn’t be stolen/given away. It’s small peanuts to sell at a discount in Asia when you can charge ridiculous prices abroad where people actually know your name. 8 years ago I bought a pair of Giorgio Armani polarized sunglasses (with case) in the Shanghai market for ~$10. I got back to Canada and compared with the real thing for lulz- absolutely no difference, zero. The clerk couldn’t even tell them apart either. Sometimes these are not rip-offs, they’re real product leaving by the back door (or sometimes the front door). Shoulda bought 20 pairs, those were awesome glasses.

    What am I saying here? I guess: I feel for you – it sucks. I’m not sure that there is much more you can do to protect yourself than you are already doing (you’re doing well actually) but I don’t think that it will go away either. At least your audience is international and getting blacklisted within Korea won’t hurt too much (if it happens). If you want to avoid it “more”, you would have to go to either a European country, Australia/NZ, or a North American country but then you wouldn’t see it happening on the streets of Korea, ’cause it would still happen. Sigh. I guess that you could save a high powered exec from certain doom and then he/she would protect you from this sh*t? I’m sorry that I don’t have better answers.

    Cyber_3 – is not a lawyer, she just plays one on tv ;)

    7 years ago
    • I _am_ passionate but it’s about safety, not necessarily this crappy copyright stuff. (It’s crappy alright, don’t get me wrong, but the bigger picture is scarier). Please don’t go into a rage protest, go into a peaceful protest and better yet, put your money where your mouth is. It’s true that it’s impossible to buy day to day stuff not is not made in China but try and at least to buy your food locally. I haven’t shopped at Walmart in years and I’m doing just fine.

      7 years ago
    • Yeah, I know it’s not going to go away, and we can’t stop it. We won’t mind calling it out, though, when we see it.

      I’m freaking floored about the blank paper story, though. Holy freaking fartballs. That’s insane.

      7 years ago
      • Keep calling it out, it helps! ^_^v

        To follow up a bit, a strategy that I saw starting to be used by tech copmanies when I left the biz a coupla years ago was to create alternate tech that only performed the minimal function of the real tech, and badly at that (because why bother perfecting it), and then call it by the same name. I guess that you could call it the “Asia-skew” of the tech (like how the Walmart-skew is always less volume, and crappier). Most Asian countries insist on having the service portion of tech contracts, let them deal with the fallout, they will be too proud to admit that there are big problems. Same goes if they steal the tech. I expect that about now there is a large number of tech in Asia that doesn’t run well and any fools abroad that bought the copies instead of the original are experiencing some pain as well. It’s a sad thing for innovation and well, safety. It’s part of why I took a break from all that – too many shenanigans. Where can this lead the (tech) world? A little scary maybe. Capitalism is not helping either.

        Cyber_3 – It’s one thing to make cheap copies of cell phone designs, what about infrastructure designs? Think about it.

        7 years ago
  40. On the copyright stuff, one of my favorite artist, Lois Van Baarle, actually had her art stolen and put on sweaters and shirts in Korea and I saw Chunji of Teen Top wearing the stolen art in their Crazy MV! I was like OMG Nooooooooo~~~ But it’s really hard for her to get it taken down because of the language barrier and then getting lawyers involved costs a lot especially because you’d need a translator, but I know a far bit of online artist get their art ripped off and plastered over things that people are making money off of without credit or the artist even knowing and it’s so sad. ; ^;

    7 years ago