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Intellectual Property Rights of Hallyu Products Infringed Upon in Asia

2005/03/22 | 124 views | Permalink | Source

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It has been found recently that the intellectual property rights of Korean cultural products, including television dramas, music CDs and movies, are infringed upon in most Asian countries where the "hallyu" wave is present.

The finding was published in a report entitled "Infringed Intellectual Property Rights of Korean Cultural Products", which was released recently by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Corporation (KOTRA). The study covered a total of eight Asian countries that have been swept by the "hallyu" boom over the past several years.

According to the report, the infringement of intellectual property rights of Korean cultural products has reached particularly serious proportions in China, the birthplace of the "hallyu" boom. Illegally duplicated DVDs and VCDs in China have, ironically, contributed to maintaining the popularity of Korean movies there. And in Hong Kong, illegally copied Korean TV dramas, music CDs and cartoon characters are being transacted far and wide.

Despite the government's strict crackdown, illegally copied DVDs and VCDs of Korean cultural products are sold on the Internet in Taiwan. Some suspect that even the database of a Korean online game has been stolen and used illicitly there as well.

In Japan, there are comparatively few cases of the infringement of intellectual property rights of Korean cultural products. But it has been found that necklaces that were worn by the lead actress of "Winter Sonata" in the drama were counterfeited and sold in the market. The allegation has sparked a copyright dispute among Japanese companies.

"We need to protect the intellectual property rights of Korean cultural products to ensure their safety in the long term. To this end, both the government and businesses should come up with a systematic measure. But we also need to take a prudent approach as excessive crackdowns may bring about adverse effects on the 'hallyu' boom", said a KOTRA official.

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