• Too_Tool2talk

    Beautiful Article! SOPA/PIPA MUST BE STOP! US is not a dictatorship, it is a democracy!

    • Black_Plague

      If the US is a dictatorship, the Russia, China, North Korea, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and a heck load of other countries are landing zones for demons from hell, considering they’re a lot worse in terms of being oppressive against their people (i.e. political assassination, concentration camps, unimaginable corruption and the list goes on) 


  • Bookthiefj

    Isn’t sopa shelved already ?!

    • Anonymous

      It is, but we still have ACTA that’s been signed.

      Just because SOPA and PIPA have been shelved -not abandoned completely- doesn’t mean that the government and the MPAA/RIAA won’t try to reinstate it at a later date. They’ll just wait until enough time has passed to try it again since the public seems to have the memory of a goldfish in regards to such issues.

    • Rachel

      Temporarily… This is probably one of many Acts to be proposed by the government in the future.

  • Arbitrary_greay

    1) To a certain point, free file-sharing is good.

    2) The key to Asia’s success in combatting piracy is that they also provided positive reinforcement along with the negative reinforcement. Good legal alternatives to piracy were offered, which is what the Western entertainment system has always horribly failed at, starting with their protesting of the existence of reruns on TV.(RIP lost Doctor Who episodes) SOPA/PIPA/ACTA only deals with negative reinforcement, which without an accompanying legal alternative already in place will only hinder progress and the subsequent legitimizing of legal alternatives.

    3) Let’s be real here: the reason physical sales are picking up again in Kpop have nothing to do with the law and everything to do with fandom. Someone who is devoted enough to their fandom will feel obligated to buy a physical CD, regardless of whether a pirated copy is available. Therefore, the credit for rising sales should be given to the idol system and its ability to capture the hearts of their fans. Of course, this links directly to the availability of media viewable by fans to reinforce their fandom: footage featuring their personality. Hence why YGEnt uploading subbed 2NE1TV and MBC uploading their entire MuCore archive from 2006 forward are key to continuing rising physical sales. Good for them. 

  • http://twitter.com/Sihaya99 Sihaya99

    Considering the fact that ACTA is unlikely to be voted by the EU parliament (which has expressed lots of concern about the treaty) and most importantly can not be applied in EU (since it violates the ECHR and national constitutions), I’m not sure it has much of a future. I don’t see the other countries supporting ACTA while EU no longer does. 

    I might be wrong but I have the feeling that this whole ACTA/PIPA/SOPA issue is a political move. 2012/2013 are election years in lots of countries and I can’t help but see how Obama’s popularity increased after he expressed his will to use his veto (and just weeks after PIPA/SOPA were shelved).

    However I might be overthinking this…

  • Guest

    Copyright infringement IS a serious problem. While people acknowledge that, they don’t do a damn thing about it. Why? Because why pay for stuff when you can get it for free? Who cares how legal or illegal it is? 

    Another thing to do take into consideration is the US legal system. Just because someone seeks a court order, doesn’t mean they get it. And for a judge to grant an order (of which there are several mind you), there are legal tests and procedures (of which, again, there are several mind you) that need to occur. Warner Brothers can’t just go into Court, seeking a court mandated order to shut down Google (because it is carrying copyrighted material). I mean, they can seek, but they will receive. Probably not because such an action doesn’t pass the standards of 1st Amendment scrutiny. 

    Also, just so everyone know, Google, Facebook, etc. already track our information and store it in a database for up to 5 years, I believe. So Big Brother is already alive and well. SOPA is not anything new in that respect. 

    Also, under scrutiny tests, there is the “alternatives clause,” which forces law persons consider if there is any alternative method to enforce what needs to be enforced to the degree that it needs to be forced. People may not want to admit it but K-pop and other forms of entertainment have achieved success because of copyright infringement. But they have also faced losses in sales because of it as well. Instead of championing behind SOPA (which is a noble cause), something that would make everyone happy, which is ultimately the goal of democracy, is to figure out a solution in which the makers of products and the consumers of products can avoid copyright infringement. 


    • Arbitrary_greay

      But the problem is that “copyright infringement” currently encompasses to wide a variety of activities, most of which aren’t that harmful. Like Wisteria says here, there’s a difference between watching a MV on youtube to check and see if you like a song and downloading it into your own library, but right now in a lot of cases the former is still considered copyright infringement. Copyright law is a mess and automatically makes any legislation dealing with it too heavy-handed and unfair to the majority of people who aren’t pirating anything but technically still under copyright infringement. 
      Like I said below, people who truly love an artist’s work will buy their music regardless of whether it’s free or not. They will buy movies that are worth watching multiple times. But having to pay money just to get to know an artist in the first place is annoying, which is why music gets played on the radio and movies get played on TV. Besides, if cost was the only thing that mattered, then no one would ever buy cable and PBS would be the most popular channel. People aren’t as shallow as you seem to think they are.  

      The point is that SOPA and PIPA allow companies to completely bypass the legal system. It’s GOOD that there are there are several legal tests and procedures that need to occur, because Warner Bros. isn’t going to file against a big company like Google or Facebook. They’re going to crush all the startup companies, which are key to innovation, progress, and the economy. The point is that SOPA and PIPA violate 1st Amendment scrutiny.

      Information storage and Big Brother concerns aren’t really the problem here. It’s about giving big corporations the power to shut down anyone, without the subject of the shut down having proper recourse. 

      But they have also faced losses in sales because of it as well.
      See my point number one in my comment below. Here’s the tagline for that article: “Following a comprehensive study, the Swiss government has ruled that sharing games, music and movies is actually beneficial to copyright holders.”

  • Anonymous

    This article is the MOST comprehensive one I’ve read on this topic. Amazing job!

    While I agree that piracy itself needs to be stopped, I would have never gotten into K-pop and K-dramas had it not been for the sharing of copyrighted material. And because I was exposed to all of this material, I fell in love with the music, variety shows, and dramas, and went and bought a shitload of their stuff. I’m talking CD’s, drama box sets, variety show t-shirts–all of it. So just to echo what the article said, Korean entertainment depends on these outlets in order to spread overseas. The irony is ridiculous.

    • Ganghanyeoja

      Exactly!! I’ve always been fasicinated with the Asian culture but it wasn’t until I was introduced to Rain that I started paying attention to it. My iTunes library now holds 10gigabytes of Kpop music and dramas, half of which I have legally purchased. I have built up a large collection of Kpop cd’s as a result of peer to peer file sharing. I’ve paid to fly around the world to see Kpop groups. I’ve flown half way across the US to see Kpop idols. I’ve spent hundreds online for DVDs, CDs, tshirts, glow sticks, you name it. All because of the ability to hear them online.

      • Anonymous

        You fly to go see your favorite Kpop groups? I must be a lazy fan then. I just wait for them to come to me LOL. I’ll try it your way though :)

  • tiffany

    While there are inherent problems with SOPA and ACTA, I think the mass anger and rejection of these bills are not quite justifiable. I think most people know the bill through the internet blackouts, which offers a rather biased and one-sided perspective. I, personally, do not agree with Wikipedia’s blackout at all, because the site was supposed to be under a doctrine of neutrality in politics, which it clearly violates here. I think the word “censorship” is also blindly being thrown around here as well. 

    As Cary H. Sherman writes in her recent New York Times op-ed article (
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/opinion/what-wikipedia-wont-tell-you.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=sopa&st=cse ):
    “Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal? When the police close down a store fencing stolen goods, it isn’t censorship, but when those stolen goods are fenced online, it is?”

    The objective of the bill was to help enforce US copyright laws, which had been made more difficult by the fact that most piracy sites operate overseas, where US courts cannot reach. I have not actually read either bills, and I do not profess to being an expert at law either, but the opinions I have read online (from the New York Times, which I admit, I am an avid reader of, and therefore am very exposed to their liberal slant) do not make the bills out to be as negative as public opinion seems to view it as. 

    To those who do not see the harm in piracy, also according to Sherman’s article, ever since file-sharing sites have emerged, music sales and employment in the music industry has halved.

    The points that David Pogue’s blog on the New York Times (http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/put-down-the-pitchforks-on-sopa/?scp=4&sq=sopa&st=cse) make are:

    1. Yes, there are large language problems in the bill, such as possible abuses and the need for a guarantee of due process, etc., which the government is working on, but the language the opposition is using (“censorship” which instantly makes Americans wary of their First Amendment rights) are also wrong, because the point is to crack down on piracy.

    2. The opposition actually is split between those who are against the language of the law and those who believe that piracy is okay, which are two separate arguments. Right now, however, piracy is illegal in the US, so the government should try to enforce their laws. I personally agree with Pogue’s opinion: 

    “Yes, it’s a quirk of the Internet that you can duplicate something infinitely and distribute it at no cost. But that does not make it O.K. to shoplift, especially when the stolen goods are for sale at a reasonable price from legitimate sources. Yes, even if the company you are robbing is huge, profitable and led by idiots.”

    There is actually a third article that I have read, but I agree with its points less, (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/opinion/sopa-boycotts-and-the-false-ideals-of-the-web.html?scp=6&sq=sopa&st=cse).

    As for how this would affect my relationship with Kpop, I don’t think it would too much for me. Every drama I’ve watched has been available for me on hulu (which is legit right?) and I think they have A LOT of shows, subbed. Most Korean entertainment companies (if not all) post their music videos on youtube, so you can hear/watch. When you’re trying to buy, they offer you a sample first. If I like the music, I buy it. You can watch subbed Music Core on dramafever (that is also legit rite?), or the original thing, which MBC has posted on youtube. For variety, you might luck out, I know hulu only gives you a link to another site for subbed Strong Heart right now, but I don’t watch variety much, so it hasn’t quite affected me. I’m sure if there’s enough demand, it will happen, because the companies want to make money.

    Wow this is long, and I only got an hour worth’s of sleep, so I apologize for any mistakes!

    • http://twitter.com/Sihaya99 Sihaya99

      “Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American
      court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal?… ”

      Well I didn’t know the trial was over yet… 
      Oh wait: “The case has not yet been heard at trial.”

      I can understand that it is important to enforce copyright laws but ACTA for instance is unconstitutional in most country AND violates the ECHR.
      Using such a law would not be a smart move.

    • Arbitrary_greay

      The trouble with SOPA and PIPA specifically wasn’t just the content of the bill. I watched’s C-SPAN’s coverage of a news conference round table discussing the bills, in which representatives from actual Silicon Valley technology and entertainment were also against SOPA and PIPA. They said that upon poring over the text of the bill itself with lawyers months ago, (October or even earlier, I believe) they had contacted their government representatives with their concerns about handing the big corporations too much power and impeding economic recovery. The government staff had told them that they were addressing those problems and would personally work with them to address those problems. That never happened, and come December/January the text was virtually unchanged, with all of those problems still present, with no contact from the government regarding those problems, and the bill was poised to be rushed through votes to get passed, with little to no feedback from the general populace or the majority of Silicon Valley businesses. 

      That’s why the backlash was so great. From the fact that they were trying to pass the bill right under our noses, having ignored our concerns, shows that although the original intent was to combat piracy, the loopholes in its execution were seen by the large corporations and they were chomping at the bit to exploit them. At that point, good intent is not only not enough, but down right dangerous. 

      As I said in my response to Guest below, one of the problems is that a lot of harmless activities are being grouped under the “illegal” tag unnecessarily, a problem that needs to be addressed before penalties are laid down. Just because something is illegal does not mean that it is wrong, so the “what’s wrong with enforcing the law?” argument is a sketchy one at best. 

      That Sherman article has a lot of problems with it. This comment it too long already without going through them. The Pogue article has a point, but I would rather the country tread carefully and err on the side of leniency on this issue than risk a heavy-handed law that easily degenerates into actual censorship. After all, the issue is one giant First World Problem and probably not as critical to solve as, say, poverty. 

      But DramaFever wouldn’t have come into being if it weren’t for demand growing out of people becoming fans watching illegal media. Initially there wasn’t any money in it, and I bet they’ll only continue to license programs they believe will be popular. This leaves fans of less popular things left in the lurch, without a good legal alternative. Not to mention the illegal fansubbing alternatives often seem to be much faster and higher quality for their passion for the fandom, as well as covering old material that definitely won’t get a new release. You’re very lucky that so far your fandom has been mostly available legally. This may make me seem like I’m in the “piracy good!” camp, but what I’m saying is that copyright law should take these kind of things into account in the first place, (with the Swiss government having found that a certain amount of file sharing is actually beneficial) and modify itself accordingly, limiting the number of innocents caught in the crossfire in the fight against actual piracy. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XZMSVOCJOA7ZA47SDPHNBVFNWM Lizzie Heart

       hulu and dramafever both are only available to USA users only, the others Kdramas lovers can’t watch it, and if others websites are turned down we can’t watch it nonwhere….  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mashitah-Zainal-Abidin/100000267765237 Mashitah Zainal Abidin

    wow..kudos to the author! I wish I can produce stuff like this in doing my homework..

  • whatthefrell

    Whoa, I am in agreement with MZA below,
    I am so impressed, and will come back to this,
    when I am better able to give it,
    and the comments below,
    the attention they deserve.
    Good job!

  • Black_Plague

    Instead, why not SCFA? XD (Stop Crazy Fans Act)
    Fan-wars are really going to get worse in the future, at least in my opinion.
    With what Tacyeon had with the period blood letter and all sorts of similar incidents
    that occurred to Korean celebrities (mainly idols, I believe), there really should be
    something to keep close watch on them fans. Similar things should also be paid
    to the more extreme anti/hater groups (the really dedicated and nutfest ones that is).
    It wouldn’t surprise me if these sort of incidents started getting more common
    as the years go by.

    Going off topic….

    In Korea, how about a law protecting K-pop idols of minor age?
    The schedules are known to be absolute killers and idols miss out a huge lot of school and
    other important parts of social life, not to mention poor lack of sleep and almost never the time to see their families. Dream High 2 mentioned this kind of law in the first episode where idols of minor age could not be worked after 10pm (of course, delusional fans who like their idols only for appearance and the such would cause a racket because they won’t get to see their ‘oppas’ and ‘noonas’ in live concerts at night – which in any case, they shouldn’t be given a second thought about as logic and reality are alien concepts to them).  

    Which also goes to say, it’d be great if the SK govt also put an eye on sexual abuse (going by common rumor, agencies are alleged to be cooercing or simply forcing their idols to pull sexual favors for sponsors, CEOs of other media companies etc.) in the K-pop industry – while I cannot say idols are definitely part of this shadowy scene 100% (as solid proof remains to be seen or confirmed), the whole thing with Sully from FX in the karaoke with ‘someone’ as well as Jang Ja Hyeon’s suicide during the Boys Over Flowers drama shooting aren’t something that can be simply ignored.