Copyright law

Chapter 2.COPYRIGHTSECTION 4. AUTHOR’S PROPERTY RIGHTSSUBSECTION 1. TYPES OF AUTHOR’S PROPERTY RIGHTS

Article 16 (Right of Reproduction)

The author shall have the right to reproduce his/her work.

Article 17 (Right of Public Performance)

The author shall have the right to perform his/her work publicly.

Article 18 (Right of Public Transmission)

The author shall have the right to transmit his/her work to the public.

Article 19 (Right of Exhibition)

The author shall have the right to exhibit the original or the copy of his/her work of art, etc.

Article 20 (Right of Distribution)

The author shall have the right to distribute the original or the copy of his/her work: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied when the original or reproduction of a work is offered for transaction by means of selling, etc. with the authorization of the holder of the author’s property rights.
<Amended on April 22, 2009>

Article 21 (Right of Rental)

Notwithstanding the proviso of Article 20, the author shall have the right to rent a commercial phonogram or commercial program for the purpose of making a profit.
<Amended on April 22, 2009>

Article 22 (Right of the Production of Derivative Work)

The author shall have the right to produce and use a derivative work based on his/her original work.

SUBSECTION 2.LIMITATIONS ON AUTHOR’S PROPERTY RIGHTS

Article 23 (Reproduction for Judicial Proceedings, etc.)

It is permissible to reproduce a work if and to the extent deemed necessary for the purposes of judicial proceedings and of internal use in the legislative or administrative bodies: Provided, That such reproduction does not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the owner of author’s property rights in light of the type of the work as well as the number and the format of reproduction.

Article 24 (Use of Political Speeches, etc.)

It is permissible to exploit, by any means, political speeches delivered in public and statements made in courts of law, the National Assembly, or municipal assemblies: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied to the use as involves a compilation of the speeches or statements of the same author.

Article 24-2 (Free Use of Public Works)

  1. (1) A work produced on business and already made public by the State or a local government, or a work of which the author's property right is owned in its entirety by the State or a local government under a contract, may be used without permission: Provided, That the same shall not apply when the work falls under any of the following cases:

    1. Where it includes any information pertaining to national security;

    2. Where it corresponds to an individual's privacy or confidential business information;

    3. Where it includes any information of which disclosure is restricted under other Acts;

    4. Where it is registered with the Korea Copyright Commission under Article 112, and is managed as State-owned property under the State Property Act or as public property under the Public Property and Commodity Management Act.

  2. (2) The State may establish and enforce policies to promote the use of public works, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, in order to promote the use of works which are produced and made public by a public institution or of which the author's property right is owned in its entirety under a contract by a public institution pursuant to Article 4 of the Act on the Management of Public Institutions.
  3. (3) When it is acknowledged as necessary for free use, the State or a local government may permit the use of public works among those prescribed in paragraph (1) 4, as prescribed by Presidential Decree, notwithstanding the State Property Act or the Public Property and Commodity Management Act.
    <This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 12137, Dec. 30, 2013>

Article 25 (Use for the Purpose of School Education, etc.)

  1. (1) A work already made public may be inserted in textbooks necessary for the purpose of education in high schools, their equivalents, or lower level schools.
  2. (2) Schools established by special Acts, the Early Childhood Education Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or the Higher Education Act, educational institutions which are operated by the State or local governments and education supporting institutions belonging to the State or local governments to support lessons of those educational institutions may reproduce, distribute, perform in public, display, or publicly transmit part of the works already made public where it is recognized as necessary for the lessons and for the purpose of support thereof: Provided, That it is inevitable to use all of the work in view of the character of the work, the purpose, form, etc. of the work, they may utilize all of the work.
    <Amended by Act No. 9625, Apr. 22, 2009; Act No. 12137, Dec. 30, 2013>
  3. (3) A person who receives education at an educational institution pursuant to paragraph (2) may reproduce or interactively transmit a work already made public within the limit stipulated in paragraph (2) where it is recognized as necessary for the purpose of the lessons.
  4. (4) A person who intends to exploit a work pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall pay remuneration to the owner of author’s property rights according to the criteria determined and announced by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Provided, That those who engage in the reproduction, distribution, public performance, broadcasting, or interactive transmission at high schools, their equivalents, or lower level schools pursuant to paragraph (2) shall not be obliged to pay remuneration.
    <Amended on February 29, 2008; April 22, 2009>
  5. (5) The right to be remunerated pursuant to paragraph (4) shall be exercised by an organization which satisfies all of the following conditions and is designated by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism. When the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism designates such an organization, the prior consent from the organization shall be obtained.
    <Amended on February 29, 2008>

The organization shall:

  1. 1. Consist of the persons who hold the right to receive compensation in the Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as “holder of the right to remuneration”);
  2. 2. Not aim at making a profit; and
  3. 3. Have sufficient capability to carry out its duties of collecting, distributing, etc. of the remuneration.
  1. (6) When there is an application from the holder of the right to remuneration even if he/she is not a member of the organization, the rganization under Paragraph (5) shall not refuse to exercise the right for him/her. In such cases, the organization shall have the authority to perform an act, under its own name, in court or out of court regarding the right.
  2. (7) The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism may revoke the designation if the organization under Paragraph (5) falls under any of the following Subparagraphs
    <Amended on February 29, 2008>
  1. 1. If an organization fails to satisfy the conditions stipulated in Paragraph (5);
  2. 2. If an organization violates the work regulations with regard to remuneration; and
  3. 3. If there is concern that the interest of the holder of the right to remuneration could be prejudiced due to the organization has suspended its duties on remuneration for a considerable period of time.
  1. (8) The organization pursuant to paragraph (5) may use the remuneration that has been left undistributed for more than three years from the date of public announcement of remuneration distribution for the purpose of public interest after obtaining approval from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
    <Amended on February 29, 2008>
  2. (9) The necessary matters for the designation and revocation of an organization, work regulations, public announcement of remuneration distribution, approval for use of undistributed compensation for the purpose of public interest, etc. pursuant to paragraphs (5), (7) and (8) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
  3. (10) If an educational institution conducts interactive transmission pursuant to Paragraph (2), the necessary measures prescribed by Presidential Decree such as reproduction prevention measures, etc. shall be taken in order to prevent infringement on copyrights and other rights protected under this Act.

Article 26 (Use for News Reporting)

In case of reporting current events by means of broadcasts, newspapers, or other means, it is permissible to reproduce, distribute, perform publicly, or transmit publicly a work seen or heard in the relevant courses, to the extent justified by the reporting purpose.

Article 27 (Reproduction, etc. of News Articles and Editorials)

Current news articles and editorials about politics, economy, society, culture, and religion inserted in newspapers and Internet newspapers pursuant to Article 2 of the Act on the Promotion of Newspapers, etc. or by news agencies pursuant to Article 2 of the Act on the Promotion of Newspapers, etc. may be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted by other media organizations: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied when indications of prohibition of use exist.
<Amended on July 31, 2009>

Article 28 (Quotations from Work Made Public)

It is permissible to quote a work already made public for news reporting, criticism, education, and research, etc. within a reasonable limit and in compliance with the fair practices.

Article 29 (Public Performance and Broadcasting for Non-profit Purposes)

  1. (1) It is permissible to perform publicly or broadcast a work already made public for non-profit purposes and receiving profit in return under any pretext from audience, spectators or third persons: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied when performer concerned is paid ordinary compensation.
  2. (2) It is permissible to play and perform publicly commercial phonograms or cinematographic works for the general public, if no benefit in return for the relevant public performance is received from audience or spectators: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied to the cases as prescribed by Presidential Decree.

Article 30 (Reproduction for Private Use)

A user may reproduce in private a work already made public without any commercial purposes: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied to reproduction by a photocopier set up for public use.

Article 31 (Reproduction, etc. in Libraries, etc.)

  1. (1) Libraries under the Libraries Act and the facilities (including the heads of the appropriate facilities; hereinafter referred to as “libraries, etc.”) as prescribed by Presidential Decree among those facilities which provide books, documents, records and other materials (hereinafter referred to as “books, etc.”) for public use may reproduce the works contained in books, etc. kept at the libraries, etc. (in the case of subparagraph 1, including the books, etc. reproduced by and interactively transmitted to the libraries, etc. pursuant to the provision of paragraph (3) hereof) in any of the following cases: Provided, That in the case of subparagraphs 1 and 3, the works shall not be reproduced in digital format:
  1. 1. Where, at the request of a user and for the purpose of research and study, a single copy of a part of books, etc. already made public is provided to him/her;
  2. 2. Where it is necessary for libraries, etc. to reproduce books, etc. for the purpose of preserving such books, etc.; and
  3. 3. Where libraries, etc. provide other libraries etc. with copies of books, etc. those are out of print or not widely available for similar reasons at the request of other libraries etc. for the purpose of their preservation.
  1. (2) Libraries, etc. may reproduce or interactively transmit their books, etc. to allow users to peruse them in such libraries, etc. by using computers. In such a case, the number of users who may peruse them at the same time shall not exceed the number ofcopies of such books, etc. kept at the libraries, etc. or authorized to be used by the persons with copyrights or other rights protected under this Act.
    <Amended on April 22, 2009>
  2. (3) Libraries, etc. may reproduce or interactively transmit their books, etc. to allow users at other libraries, etc. to peruse them by computers: Provided, That, in those cases where all or a part of the books, etc. have been published for sale, such books, etc. shall not be reproduced or interactively transmitted until a period of five years has elapsed since the publication date of such books, etc.
    <Amended on April 22, 2009>
  3. (4) In reproducing books, etc. pursuant to subparagraph 2 of paragraph (1), paragraph (2) or paragraph (3), libraries, etc. shall not reproduce such books, etc. in digital format if they are being sold in digital format.
  4. (5) In reproducing books, etc. in digital format pursuant to subparagraph 1 of paragraph (1), or reproducing or interactively transmitting books, etc. for the purpose of allowing perusal inside other libraries, etc. pursuant to paragraph (3), libraries, etc. shall pay the owners of author’s property rights remuneration in accordance with the standards determined and published by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied to books, etc. (excluding those books, etc. which are, in part or in whole, published for the purpose of sale) regarding which the national, local governments, or schools hold author’s property rights pursuant to Article 2 of the Higher Education Act.
    <Amended on February 29, 2008>
  5. (6) The provisions regarding remuneration in paragraphs (5) to (9) of Article 25, shall apply mutatis mutandis to the foregoing paragraph (5) with regard to the payment of remuneration, etc.
  6. (7) If books, etc. are reproduced or interactively transmitted in digital format pursuant to the foregoing paragraphs (1) through (3),libraries, etc. shall take the necessary measures as prescribed by Presidential Decree such as reproduction prevention measures in order to prevent infringement on copyrights and other rights protected under this Act.
  7. (8) If the National Library of Korea collects online materials for the purpose of preservation pursuant to Article 20bis of the Libraries Act, it may reproduce the appropriate materials.
    <Added on March 25, 2009>

Article 32 (Reproduction for Examination Questions)

It is permissible to reproduce and distribute a work already made public in questions of entrance examinations for schools or other examinations of knowledge and skills, within the reasonable extent deemed necessary for that purpose: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied if it is for the purposes of making a profit.
<Amended on April 22, 2009>

Article 33 (Reproduction, etc. for Visually Impaired Persons, etc.)

  1. (1) A Work already made public may be reproduced and distributed in Braille for visually impaired persons, etc.
  2. (2) The facilities (including the heads of the appropriate facilities) prescribed by Presidential Decree among the facilities for the purpose of promoting the welfare of visually impaired persons, etc. may make a sound recording of the literary work already made public, or reproduce, distribute or interactively transmit such a work by an exclusive recording method for the visually impaired persons, etc. as prescribed by Presidential Decree, in order to provide it for the use by the visually impaired persons, etc., but not for the profit-making purposes.
    <Amended on March 25, 2009>
  3. (3) The scope of visually impaired persons, etc. pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.

Article 33-2 (Reproduction, etc. for Hearing Impaired Persons, etc.)

  1. (1) It shall be permissible for anyone to convert the works already made public into sign language, and reproduce, distribute, perform in public, or publicly transmit such sign language for the hearing impaired, etc.
  2. (2) It shall be permissible for facilities prescribed by Presidential Decree (including the heads of relevant facilities) from among those for the promotion of welfare of the hearing impaired, etc. to convert the voice, sound, etc. contained in the works, etc. which have already been made public to any format that the hearing impaired can recognize, such as captions, for the purpose of offering it for the use by the hearing impaired, etc. but not for the profit-making purpose; or to reproduce, distribute, perform in public, or publicly transmit them for the hearing impaired, etc.
  3. (3) The scope of the hearing impaired, etc. under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
    <This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 11903, Jul. 16, 2013>

Article 34 (Ephemeral Sound or Visual Recordings by Broadcasting Organizations)

  1. (1) Broadcasting organizations with the authority to broadcast a work may make ephemeral sound or visual recordings of a work for the purpose of their own broadcasting and by the means of their own facilities.
  2. (2) Sound or visual recordings made pursuant to Paragraph (1) may not be kept for a period exceeding one year from the date of the sound or visual recording: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied when they are kept as materials for records at places prescribed by Presidential Decree.

Article 35 (Exhibition or Reproduction of Work of Art, etc.)

  1. (1) The owner of an original of a work of art, etc. or a person who has obtained the owner’s consent, may exhibit the work in its original form: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied if the work of art is to be exhibited at all times on the street, in the park, on the exterior of a building, or other places open to the public.
  2. (2) Works of art, etc. exhibited at all times at an open place as referred to in the proviso of paragraph (1) may be reproduced and used by any means, except those falling under any of the following subparagraphs:
  1. 1. Where a building is reproduced into another building;
  2. 2. Where a sculpture or a painting is reproduced into another sculpture or a painting;
  3. 3. Where the reproduction is made in order to exhibit permanently at an open place pursuant to the proviso of paragraph (1); and
  4. 4. Where the reproduction is made for the purpose of selling
  1. (3) A person who exhibits works of art, etc. pursuant to paragraph (1), or who intends to sell originals of works of art, etc. may reproduce and distribute them in a pamphlet for the purpose of explaining and introducing them.
  2. (4) A commissioned portrait or similar photographic work shall not be used without the consent of the client.

Article 35bis (Temporary Reproduction in the Course of Use of Work)

If a work is used on a computer, the work may be temporarily reproduced on the computer to the extent deemed necessary for smooth and efficient information processing: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply if the use of the work infringes the copyright.

<This article added on December 2, 2011>

Article 35ter (Fair Use of Works)

  1. (1) It is permissible to use works for news reporting, criticism, education and research when such use does not conflict with the normal exploitation of works and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the except the cases pursuant to Articles 23 to 35bis and 101ter to 101quinquies.
  2. (2) In determining whether an act of using works falls under paragraph (1), the factors of the following subparagraphs, etc. shall be considered:
  1. 1. the purposes and characters of the use, including whether such use is for profit or nonprofit;
  2. 2. the category and nature of the works;
  3. 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole; and
  4. 4. the effect of the use on the current or potential market for or value of the work.

<This article added on December 2, 2011>

Article 36 (Use by Means of Translation, etc.)

  1. (1) If a work is used under Article 24-2, 25, 29, 30 or 35-3, the work may be used by means of translation, arrangement, or adaptation.
    <Amended by Act No. 11110, Dec. 2, 2011; Act No. 12137, Dec. 30, 2013>
  2. (2) If a work is used under Article 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, or 33-2, the work may be used by means of translation.
    <Amended by Act No. 11110, Dec. 2, 2011; Act No. 11903, Jul. 16, 2013>

Article 37 (Indication of Sources)

  1. (1) A person who uses a work under this subsection shall indicate its sources: Provided, That the foregoing shall not be applied to the cases pursuant to Articles 26, 29 to 32, 34, and 35bis.
    <Amended on December 2, 2011>
  2. (2) The indication of the sources shall be made n a manner deemed reasonable by the situation in which the work is used, and if the real name or pseudonym of the author of a work is originally indicated, such real name or pseudonym shall be indicated.

Article 37bis (Exclusion of Application)

Articles 23, 25, 30, and 32 shall not be applied to programs.

<This article added on April 22, 2009>

Article 38 (Relationship with Author’s Moral Rights)

No provision under this Subsection shall be interpreted as affecting the author’s moral rights.

SUBSECTION 3.TERM OF PROTECTION OF AUTHOR’S PROPERTY RIGHTS

Article 39 (Principles of the Term of Protection)

  1. (1) Author’s property rights in a work shall subsist during the life of the author and for a period of seventy years after the death of the author, except as provided under this subsection.
    <Amended on June 30, 2011>
  2. (2) Author’s property rights in a joint work shall subsist for a period of seventy years after the last surviving author’s death.
    <Amended on June 30, 2011>

Article 40 (Term of Protection for Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works)

  1. (1) Author’s property rights in an anonymous or pseudonymous work which is not widely known, shall subsist for a period of seventy years following the making public of the work: Provided, That if reasonable grounds are found to show that seventy years have lapsed after the death of the author within such a period, the property rights shall be deemed to have expired when seventy years have passed after the death of the author.
    <Amended on June 30, 2011>
  2. (2) The provision of paragraph (1) shall not be applied to any of the following cases:
  1. 1. Where the real name or the well-known pseudonym of an author is identified during the period referred to in paragraph (1); and
  2. 2. Where the real name of the author is registered pursuant to paragraph (1) of Article 53 during the period referred to in Paragraph (1)

<Enforcement Date July 1, 2013>

Article 41 (Term of Protection for a Work Made for hire)

Author’s property rights of a work made for hire shall subsist for a period of seventy years following the making public of the work: Provided, That if it has not been made public within seventy years after its creation, the author’s property rights shall subsist for a period of seventy years after its creation.
<Amended on June 30, 2011>

Article 42 (Term of Protection for Cinematographic Works)

Notwithstanding the foregoing Articles 39 and 40, author’s property rights in cinematographic works shall subsist for a period of seventy years from the time that such works are made public: provided that, in those cases where such works are not made public within seventy years after their creation, the rights shall subsist for a period of seventy years from the time of their creation.
<Amended on June 30, 2011>

<The title amended on June 30, 2011>
<Enforcement Date July 7, 2013>

Article 43 (The Time When Serial Publications, etc. Have Been Made Public)

  1. (1) The time when a work has been made public pursuant to paragraph (1) of Article 40, or Article 41, shall be, in case of a work made public in successive volumes, issues or installments, at the time when each volume, issue or installment is made public, and in case of work gradually made public in parts, at the time when its last part is made public.
    <Amended on June 30, 2011>
  2. (2) In the case of works to be completed by publication in parts in a successive manner, the last part made public shall be deemed to be the last part pursuant to paragraph (1) if the part that is supposed to follow next is not made public within a period of three after the immediately preceding part was made public.

Article 44 (Calculation of the Term of Protection)

When determining the term of protection of author’s property rights as prescribed under this Subsection, calculation shall be made from the following year of the death of the author, the creation of the work or the making public of the work.

SUBSECTION 4.TRANSFER, EXERCISE, AND EXPIRY OF AUTHOR’S PROPERTY RIGHTS

Article 45 (Transfer of Author’s Property Rights)

  1. (1) Author’s property rights may be transferred of ownership in whole or in part.
  2. (2) Where author’s property rights are transferred of ownership in whole, the right of the making and use of a derivative work as prescribed under Article 22 shall be presumed not to be included in the transfer, unless otherwise stipulated: provided that, in the case of programs, the right of the making of a derivative work shall be presumed to be included in the transfer unless otherwise stipulated.
    <Amended on April 22, 2009>

Article 46 (Authorization to Use Works)

  1. (1) The owner of author’s property rights may authorize another person to use the work.
  2. (2) The person who obtained the authorization pursuant to Paragraph (1) shall be entitled use the work in a manner and conditions to the extent authorized by the owner.
  3. (3) The right of use authorized pursuant to paragraph (1) may not be transferred of ownership to a third party without the consent of the owner of author’s property rights.

Article 47 (Exercise of the right of pledge on author’s property rights)

  1. (1) The right of pledge on author’s property rights may be exercised with respect to money or any other things to be received by the owner of author’s property rights from the transfer of author’s property rights or the use of works (including any compensation) for the establishment of exclusive rights of publication pursuant to Article 57 and publication rights pursuant to Article 63): Provided, That the money or any other things must be seized before payment or delivery of them.
    <Amended on April 22, 2009; December 2, 2011>
  2. (2) Author’s property rights shall be entitled to exercise the author’s property rights even when the right of pledge has been established thereon, unless otherwise stipulated in the act of establishment.
    <Added on April 22, 2009>

<The title amended on June 30, 2011>

Article 48 (Exercise of Author’s Property Rights in a Joint Work)

  1. (1) Author’s property rights in a joint work shall not be exercised without the unanimous agreement of all the owners of author’s property rights. Each owner of author’s property rights shall not be entitled to transfer or pledge his/her share of author’s property rights without the consent of the other authors. Each owner shall not prevent the agreement from being reached or refuse to give the consent in bad faith.
  2. (2) The profit generating from the exploitation of a joint work shall be apportioned among its authors according to the degree of contribution with respect to the creation by each author, unless otherwise stipulated. If the degree of contribution by each author is not clear, the profit shall be presumed to equally apportion to all the authors.
  3. (3) The owner of author’s property rights in a joint work may renounce his/her share of the joint work. In the case of the owner renounces his/her share or is dead without an heir, the share shall be apportioned to the other owners according to the ratio of their shareholding.
  4. (4) Paragraphs (2) and (3) of Article 15 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the exercise of author’s property rights in a joint work.

Article 49 (Expiry of Author’s Property Rights)

Author’s property rights shall expire in any of the following cases:

  1. 1. Where the owner of author’s property rights is dead without an heir, the rights are escheated to the Government pursuant to provisions of the Civil Law and other laws and regulations; and
  2. 2. Where a legal person or an organization which is the owner of author’s property rights dissolve, the author’s property rights are escheated to the Government pursuant to the provisions of the Civil Law and other laws and regulations.