Thursday, September 09, 2010

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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