Monthly Archives: July 2008

[Not Law] Waiting List for Air Conditioners

After submitting to this sweltering Summer, I visited a Hi-Mart store. (electronics multi-shop)
(The Hi-Mart store I visited wasn’t anything like this at all.)

I was serious about ordering an air conditioner when I entered the shop. I had to think twice when I was told I would have to wait 10 days before an air conditioner would be installed at my house.

I have a one-week business trip scheduled from 28 July to 3 August. When I get back to Korea, it will be August. Most beaches at the East coast closes around 5 August. The end of Summer will be announced 2 days after the biz trip.

So, the question I had to answer was this. Do I need an air conditioner in August since it will be still sweltering in August? Do I not need one because the end of Summer is around the corner?

My answer: I’ll spend this Summer without an air conditioner at home. Instead, I’ll hang out at coffee shops like Min Dul Lae Young To (민들레영토) where they charge you for the time you spend there. I’m writing this post at Min Dul Lae Young To.

I love the air conditioner. Praise the inventor of the air conditioner for bringing down a discomfort index all around the world by at least 20.

~ Peace ~

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Movie ‘Crossing’ and copyright dispute

I haven’t seen this movie ‘Crossing’ though. I could guess that this movie is about South-North Korea. The poster speaks of itself, doesn’t it?

News about the (looming) copyright dispute between a movie director Lee Gwang Hoon (이광훈) and Camp B, producer of this movie says Lee Gwang Hoon arguably wrote a scenario about similar story before Camp B. Camp B (naturally) argues the story is not based on a specific personal experience of one Mr. Yoo (who provided the story for Lee Gwang Hoon), instead they created ‘Crossing’ out of many similar stories.

One of the arguments by Camp B that might be intriguing is that Lee Gwang Hoon does not have any copyrightable subject matter because Lee Gwang Hoon has not published his scenario.

It is natural and obvious that Lee Gwang Hoon published his story in some way. He heard Mr. Yoo’s story and wrote a scenario. Mr. Yoo published his story when he told Lee Gwang Hoon his story. Lee Gwang Hoon must have shown his scenario to someone, which is easily provable.

Lawyers who don’t know the difference between the US Copyright law and Korean Copyright law in terms of publication might think my statement mis-stated. No, it is not.

In Korea, publication for the purpose of copyright protection does not require fixation. You speak, you have copyrightable subject matter.

In the U.S., you have to have a fixated material in order to have copyright protection. This fixation requirement led to a long strain of cases questioning and answering whether RAM copy is fixation, whether signal transmission through an electric wire is fixation, etc.

All these important and intriguing questions in the U.S. copyright jurisdiction is moot in Korea.

One commentator, whose name I can’t remember, noted that the difference in the fixation requirement is not crucial in terms of the overall copyright law structure. Instead, he furthered, the difference is meaningful in how the two jurisdictions differ in proving copyrightable subject matter.

The U.S. copyright law requires fixated material. The copyright owner has to have some kind of tangible evidence on his part first. A statement (testimony) that one wrote a scenario doesn’t do any good. So, authors have this laymen’s know-how to protect copyright – send a copy to yourself.

In Korea, it is totally possible that one simply argues that he told a story and his owns copyright over the story. How is he going to prove it? Go to court and argue.