Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Travel to Tokyo from Sep 22 to Oct 2

I'm going to Tokyo tomorrow and will return on Oct. 2.
This is my first travel to Japan. Funny. I've been to a number of remote countries, but not to Japan and South East Asian countries.
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Effort (Kim Jung Woo) announced retirement

NO.1 뉴미디어 마이데일리 (Korean news source)

[News] Effort announces his retirement (Team Liquid news)

Pro-gamer Kim Jung Woo (Effort

Pro-gamer Kim Jung Woo (better known as Effort in gaming world) announced a sudden retirement on 20 September 2010. He is the champion of the 2010 Korean Airline Star League Season 1.  He is the only pro-gamer who beat the dominating Flash (Lee Young Ho) at a final of any starcraft individual league for the last one and a half years.

His retirement follows that of [Red]NaDa (Lee Yun Yeol a.k.a. the "genius"). [Red]NaDa announced that he will convert to a StarCraft II player. Many expect that more old-generation pro-gamers will change to StarCraft II. 

Is the series of retirement/conversion of StarCraft pro-gamers a precurser of changing geography of the pro-gaming scene of Korea? I think so. StarCraft II is taking up StarCraft's playing ground more rapidly than many thought. Making the matters worse for StarCraft, StarCraft gaming competition held by KeSPA (Korean e-Sports Association) is only viable as long as Blizzard is extending the grace period for using its intellectual property.

 

Music Sponsorship - so called

Sponsorship covers costs of Mariah Carey's latest album - Springwise

Copyright laws around the world are changing. Faster changing than copyright laws are the copyright business.  There are several books out there that predicts the demise of century-old business model of the recording industry.

Music sponsorship is one of the candidate model which will shoulder out the old model.

Music Sponsorship

"Music sponsorship" is a new term that has not been fixed as an industry standard phrase. Under the music sponsorship, somebody sponsors (gives money or something equivalent) a music and listeners listen to the music for free.When sponsoring a music, the sponsor's sponsorship is split in halves and distributed to the composer and the recording studio (which will pay royalty to the performing artists).

Music sponsorship is operating under the copyright law status quo. But it has the potential of changing the music industry geography. Why is it?

Music as pure art is done

Think about this. It is an anthropoligical issue. When did people start to listen to music as pure art? When will people stop listening to music as pure art?

It has not been for long since people listened to music as a solemn art that requires quiet audience. For the majority of the human history, music has been part of something bigger. i.e., festival, party, war, etc. For a brief period of time, music has taken the status of pure art. The short period of time has nearly ended. We are living in a world where music is not treated as pure art any more. Music is treated as part of something else, i.e., cellphones, commercials, movies, Starbucks, etc.

In the world where music is not a pure art, people aren't willing to pay for music per se.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Draft: Starbucks must pay for the music

Another court decision granted today is KOMCA v. Starbucks. (Korean courts don't name cases like that, though) :)

KOMCA is the Korea Music Copyright Association, and it represents right holders of musical composition.

Sound recording association is the Korean Association of Phonogram Producers (KAPP)

There used to be the Music Industry Association of Korea (한국음악산업협회), but it was practically succeeded and replaced by the Korea Music Content Industry Association (KMCIA)

1. The Industry Practice

Starbucks has not been paying for the music it has been playing at its stores.

"스타벅스 실내 음악료 내라" > 사회.전국 > 전국 :: 한경닷컴 ::

스타벅스는 음악 CD를 이용해 매장에서 음악을 틀었다. 스타벅스는 그동안 음반을 구입해 사용하면 저작권 법상‘판매용 음반’에 해당돼 국내 저작권자의 허락을 별도로 받지 않아도 된다고 주장했다.

Starbucks played music at its stores using CDs it purchased and didn't pay for the public performance of the music. The argument of Starbucks was that purchased CDs are "CDs for sale" under the Korean Copyright Act and therefore no need for getting permission from the right holder in Korea.

2. Lower court ruled for Starbucks

"스타벅스 실내 음악료 내라" > 사회.전국 > 전국 :: 한경닷컴 ::

1심 재판부도 스타벅스의 주장을 받아 들여 저작권자에게 패소판결을 내렸다.

The district court (court of first instance) agreed with Starbucks.

2. Appeals court disagreed.

The appeals court overturned the first court's decision.

"스타벅스 실내 음악료 내라" > 사회.전국 > 전국 :: 한경닷컴 ::

재판부는 “스타벅스가 매장에서 CD를 재생하는 행위는 저작권(공연권)을 침해하는 행위”라며 “스타벅스는 원고가 신청한 음악저작물을 영업장에서 사용해서는 안된다”고 판단했다.

The court opined, "Starbucks' playing of CDs at its stores [without permission] infringes upon the public performance right of the right holder. ... Starbucks should not use the musical work of rights at its stores [without permission]."

4. Court's interpretation

mk 뉴스

인터뷰 : 손철우 / 서울고등법원 공보판사
- "이 사건 CD는 판매용 음반에 해당하지 않고, 음악저작물에 대한 공연권을 인정하기도 어렵다는 이유로 저작권 침해를 인정한 사례입니다.

Sohn, Chul-Woo, Speaker for the Seoul High Court

The court acknolwedged copyright infringement because the CDs at case are not "CDs for sale" and the public performance rights for musical work of arts cannot be recognized."

The statement by Mr. Sohn is quite strange to me. I think he spoke in reverse of what he wanted to say. I will clarify this point after I read the case.

5. Right to Lawsuit

There is an interesting distinction made by the court

연합뉴스 : 바른언론 빠른뉴스

재판부는 그러나 `콘시에르토 드 아랑후에스'(Concierto de aranjuez) 등 4곡에 대한 저작권 금지 청구에 대해서는 "협회가 저작재산권자에게서 이들 음악에 대한 공연을 허락할 권리를 부여받았을 뿐 저작재산권을 신탁받은 것은 아닌 만큼 소를 제기할 권한이 없다"며 각하했다.

The Association is only granted the right to permit public performance and was not entrusted with the copyright on four songs (i.e., Concierto de aranjuez). Therefore, it does not have the standing to bring an infringement suit on the four songs.

Will bring more detail on the case.

 

Court bans Cable TVs' rebroadcasting of TV programs


1. The news

Seoul Central District Court (서울중앙지법) rendered a decision on September 8, 2010, banning Cable TVs' simultaneous rebroadcasting of TV programs.

As an industry practice (meaning it is highly likely illegal), Cable TVs have been rebroadcasting TV programs simultaneously.

2. The law

Article 84 of the Korean Copyright Act provides,

A brodcasting organization ahs the right to reproduce its broadcast.

Article 85 of the Korean Copyright Act provides,

A broadcasting organization has the right to simultaneously rebroadcast its broadcast. 

The black letter law is that Cable TVs should get permissions from over-the-air TV stations to simultaneously rebroadcast their broadcasts.

3. Nothing new

So, yesterday's decision adds nothing new to the black letter law. But it changes the industry practice. Seeing that the district court's decision will not likely be overturned by higher courts, cable TVs have no choice but to negotiate with over-the-air TV stations for permission to rebroadcast.

4. Industry practice

According to an article, about 10 million people are subscribint to cable TVs in Seoul. Considering that the population of Seoul is about 10 million, almost all Seoulites are subscribing to cable TVs.

There are about 80 cable channels available, and a big portion of the programs are either simultaneous or recorded rebroadcasting of over-the-air broadcasts.

Will look at more data on this.

5. Resources

For information on cable TVs in Korea, see the Korea Cable Television & Telecommunications Association (KCTA) here.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Commentary on TRIPS

As a personal project, I've been writing a commentary on TRIPS. I've been doing that partially because I've been in charge of TRIPS negotiation in KIPO. Better reason is that I thought I could write a commentary that is better than any other commentary on TRIP written in Korean.

The job is almost 1/3 done. (shame on me) In the mean time, ACTA is nearing the final stage. Should I finish TRIPS commentary and ACTA commentary altoghether in parallel?

By the way, the TRIPS commentary will be published in e-book format.
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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Serial Thought on Golden Slumber

A thought following my previous post on Golden Slumber.

Densha Otoko (電車男, 전차남)

Densha Otoko (the main male character) is another ordinary Japanese guy who is shy and is close to being a Hikikomori. When the Hermes girl (the main female character) was threatened by a drunken man on a subway, Densha Otoko stands up against the drunken man with the courage he could pull out once in his life. Thanks to the exceptional courage, he could date the Hermes girl.

Throughout the course of the date, Densha Otoko gets advice from his friends on the Internet. The friends have never met Densha Otoko but they are all helpful from the bottom of their hearts.

The value that runs through the entire series of the drama Densha Otoko is the manly courage (that Japanese guys have lost long ago) as well as trust, love and support from friends (even when they have never met).

Kamome Shokudo (かもめ食堂, 갈매기 식당)

I see similar elements being the theme of Kamome Shokudo.

Kamome Shokudo is a story of a few Japanese women, starting a Japanese restaurant in Finland. Finland is a very remote country from Japan. I think there is some reason for using Finland as the locale.

Anyhow, the ladies overcome many difficulties encountered in the early stage of restaurant management through friendship, trust and love.

I can list several other examples more, but I'll stop here.

I find it very interesting that Japanese movies and TV dramas use trust, love, friendship, courage and other traditional values as underlying theme.

There seems to be a consensus among Japanese people on what they lost and do not have any more. What they don't have, do they long for.

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Golden Slumber - a Japanese movie


What they don't have and what they wish to have.

"Golden Slumber" is a Lee Harvey Oswald story staged in Sendai, Japan, from the perspective of an honest and righteous young man who is framed to have assassinated the prime minister.

Aoyagi is a young Tak Bai (UPS) driver living his life diligently as other ordinary Japanese citizens do. One day, he got trapped into a plan of prime minister assassination. Immediately after the successful assassination, he was designated as prime suspect.

For over two hours of the running time, he is helped by his friends, a serial killer, a fake patient, and others to save himself.

What caught my thought was that this movie is in line with other Japanese movies that uses TRUST, LOVE, MEMORY, FRIENDSHIP as main elements of the story.

What Japanese people are believed to lack are TRUST, LOVE, MEMORY AND FRIENDSHIP. What they lack, do they long for.

What Koreans are believed to have much are TRUST, LOVE, MEMORY AND FRIENDSHIP. They want to see betrayal of TRUST, LOVE, MEMORY AND FRIENSHIP.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

REBLANK - Giving a second life to used goods

REBLANK is more than just recycling used goods.
It gives second lives to used goods by redesigning the form and use.





Values are added when REBLANK designers creates new shapes and uses from old products. 


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Intellectual Ventures losing money?

I haven't been carefully watching what Intellectual Ventures (IV) has been doing. According to an investment report of the University of Texas Management Company, it looks like IV is losing money. 

See IP finance article for more detail. 

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Valuing Patents and Litigation

Valuing Patents and Litigation

IP Finance blog tells me an interesting episode on IP valuation. According to the above article, value of a patent was significantly deducted b/c it hasn't been tested by litigation. Read the above article for more detail.

As the article says, if the practice is industry-wise, the practice encourages litigation (for (in)validity). I assume that the litigation referred to in the article is litigation for validity/invalidity.

Second, sound patents aren't litigated. Litigation occurs where patents are not soundly grounded. This is an irony of the value-deduction practice.

Third, the practice shows the quality of patent examination of the USPTO.

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Pirate Bay Documentary Reaches Fundraising Goal

http://www.zeropaid.com/news/90473/pirate-bay-documentary-reaches-fundraising-goal/

I wonder is Soribada makes a good topic for a documentary.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

How Are We Gonna Pay These Musicians

Or, How Are You Gonna Encourage Better Creation?


The above link is a very thoughtful article that includes latest debates on the revenue/profit structure of the music industry. 

I personally think the option 2 is a viable one at this moment. Law and policy do not forerun the trend to come. They only follow the traces of the new changes. It is hard to ask the legislators and policy makers to make certain changes when there aren't enough evidence to convince the benefit of the change. 

The law status quo gives the room for having option #2 operable. The megal labels are dominant and their shrines seem permanent. But I doubt that anything is permanent. The changes are being made right now through various platforms. The big 4 are resisting the changes. But like the saying goes, "resistance is futile." 

The chart below shows the current market power of the Big 4s. 


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Will LSIP do the trick?

Will LSIP do the trick?

How to finance from intellectual property has long been on the desk of IP policy makers.
IP rights have mostly been used as defensive tool rather than offensive weapon. Though some Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) like Intellectual Ventures succeeded in monetizing from patent portfolios, the business model of NPEs still need to bear the test of time.

Japan's LSIP is a government-side attempt to vitalize monetization of IPs.

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Back from Summer Vacation

I'm back from a great summer vacation in Jeju Island. 
Summer vacation couldn't have been better. I swam in almost all beaches in Jeju. That includes Joong-moon, Pyosun, Hamduk, Hyupjae/Gumnung, Gimnyung. I'll try the remaining beaches next year. 

On the last day of my vacation, which was Friday, August 27, a typhoon was approaching Jeju which brought big waves to the Southern coasts of Jeju. I saw surfers on the Joong-moon beach. 

Maybe next year, I'll try surfing. k

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Let's Learn How to Pronounce Jair Bolsonaro

[Jai Bousonaro] seems to be close to what Brazilians call the new president elect, according to http://www.pronouncekiwi.com/Jair%20Bolsona...