The campaign for a law on remuneration rights in South Korea does not rest. On February 27, a delegation from the Korea Copyright Commission -KCC-, an organization under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea, visited the offices of DAC -Directores Argentinos Cinematográficos-, in order to gather information on the functioning of a collective management society for Audiovisual Authors under a remuneration law, and then present a report in the Korean National Assembly for a possible application to the Korean legal system.
The delegation, composed of Joon Kyun Yoon -executive manager of the KCC Laws and Policies research team- and Hae Jung Ryou -researcher of the same team- was received by the authorities of DAC Horacio Maldonado, Secretary-General, and Dr. Luis Mangiavillano, Executive Director and copyright lawyer specialist.
The Argentinians provided a detailed presentation on the functioning of collective management of the rights of Audiovisual Authors in the Latin American region and on the current international panorama.
In May 2022, the Directors Guild of Korea -DGK- received the international community of Audiovisual Authors fighting for their rights within the framework of the Second Annual Congress of the International Confederation of Audiovisual Authors -AVACI-.
During the days surrounding this important event, filmmakers and legal representatives of audiovisual law from different parts of the world met with lawmakers and government officials in Korea to raise awareness about the need for fair remuneration for Audiovisual Authors and the benefits that a law with mandatory collective management would bring to an industry that is fundamental to the country and constantly expanding.
The media and political impact generated by the Congress motivated members of the Korean parliament to receive DGK authorities in the National Assembly in August, just two months later, for the review of the copyright law, which currently does not provide for any type of remuneration for the public exhibition of audiovisual works.
By September 2022, DGK managed to introduce two bills presented by the two leading parties in parliament, and by early 2023, they already have the support of the international audiovisual community, the local press, renowned Korean filmmakers, actor and technician organizations, lawmakers, and government officials.
However, the interests of content platforms manage to prevail and the law has not yet been passed. One of the legal arguments against the sanction of a remuneration law by collective management is based on the case of countries such as the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, which have the copyright system.
This argument was strongly refuted by the AVACI Confederation and its member societies, given that Audiovisual Authors from more than seventy countries benefit from the Authors’ rights system that Korea is currently claiming.
In a meeting held last December, DGK surprised the opposition party to the law and the KCC for their preparation on the subject, given the large amount of material they had to defend their position.
The technical, legal, economic, and logistical support made available since the beginning of the campaign led by DGK Vice President Yoon Jung Lee from AVACI and FESAAL -Federation of Latin American Audiovisual Author Societies- included the hiring of the Yulchon law firm, which provided famous Korean legal academics and an intense legal work.
Days before their visit, the KCC sent an extensive questionnaire regarding legal and technical details of the application of collective management, which was meticulously answered and expanded during the productive meeting.
"We have found that DAC is active and fair in the collection and distribution of royalties," said Hae Jung Ryou after the meeting. "We will do our best to analyze the information they have provided us, so that it can serve as a reference and help in the Korean legislative process", added Joon Kyun Yoon.
The meeting fulfilled its objective of conveying to the Korean government the best method for the protection of its Audiovisual Authors and represents a step forward in the struggle for the enactment of a law that protects content creators from a country whose film industry consumes the entire world.
A permanent remuneration law for the exhibition of works such as Parasite -winner of the 2019 Oscar for best picture- or Squid Game -the most-watched series in Netflix history, with more than 142 million viewers in its first season in 2021- would imply incalculable benefits to the Korean audiovisual industry, its creators, and all Audiovisual Authors worldwide whose works are exhibited in that country.