Jun 042007

First the French, now Korea. The technolibertarians are getting it on all sides…

The gist of the story: the Ministry of Information and Communication is issuing some guidelines for comment. The comment end date is June 29th. They include a code of conduct, some legal rules for people to follow, and a checklist for users to ue when creating and uploading content.

The code of conduct concerns the responsibility of the UCC creator, respecting UCC copyright and the prevention of defamation. The legal guideline offers detailed information on copyright, protection of user privacy, prevention of defamation and the circulation of adulterous content.

Korea Herald

Apparently, half the users of the Net in Korea report discomfort with user-created content, because of bad language, incorrect information, and privacy infringement.

Further, the Korea Times contains this incredible sentence:

UCC, the current buzzword in cyberspace, is likely to exercise an overwhelming influence over the presidential election this year.

What’s the issue that worries them? Basically, the equivalent of YouTube clips about politicians. Currently in Korea, it’s against the law for you to upload political opinions as video clips, apparently. They’re talking about relaxing this law, with the exception that minors still won’t be able to participate, and a key element from US politics — “slander or black propaganda” — will not be allowed.

This issue of defamation is a big one, apparently. The Hankyoreh has a whole article on how older articles which only present half of a more complex story are popping up higher in search results, thus resulting in misleading impressions about people.

Asking to remain anonymous, an individual posted the following on an Internet portal’s online bulletin board: “When I search my name on an Internet portal, an article regarding a robbery I committed a long time ago comes up. I am concerned over the possibility that my child may find out about my crime one day by searching my name on the Internet. I was already cleared of the crime, so please delete the article.”

One result? JoongAng Daily reports

As if snipping out tumors with surgical scissors, 126 employees scour the Daum portal Web site for “bad” content and delete it with a mouse click.Operating around the clock in three shifts of 42 each, these cyber censors target adult videos, copyright-sensitive videos, and offensive and abusive language in text posts.

I link all of these because it helps give a further glimpse into the ways in which the issue of free speech in virtual spaces of all sorts of growing more complicated, with strong variations by territory. South Korea is one of them ost wired societies on earth, but its experience with this sort of UCC is in some ways more limited than the West, because of technological happenstance and historical accident. I wonder to what degree the Internet will become a leveller of national custom?

  12 Responses to “Korea may regulate user-created content”

  1. If we’d had to follow too many content rules back in the early MUD days, I think you and I might well have different jobs, today.

  2. I don’t know, but I think more countries than China will block IP-address-ranges in order to enforce their own laws. So, maybe we will have a free-global-market with intellectual-trade-barriers. Turning the world upside-down compared to the previous century. Interesting prospect…

    And maybe WOW and their bland kindren will be the leveller of national custom, lulling the youth into a neverending apolitical high-fantasy-grind with big boobies. Blargh! Scary prospects…

    I think I will go create Varieties of Vikings or something, to pump up my national pride… It would be interesting to see more local cultural-derived big games. Are developers avoiding their own local heritage? Norwegian Funcom put Midgard on hold and picked up Conan. The medivial-Europe-themed MMOs are streaming out of the USA. Asian pop-culture adopt western looks (dunno about their local MMOs).

    Mish-mash-cultural-rape-society. Here we come.

  3. Ola, around 93% of folks in the USA don’t have a “local heritage” that goes back more than a few generations. We are the descendants of vikings, too… as well as everything from conquistadors, knights, cataphracts, hoplites, and keshik to prophets, griots, gypsies, and pochteca.

    I think one could certainly make a very interesting and original MMO set somewhere in the pre-Columbian Americas, but it would unfortunately probably be a boutique title. Most folks just aren’t familiar with the lore.

  4. Tess, maybe that boutique title would attract non-gamers who want to not only waste time, but learn something while being entertained. I’m not suggesting something authentic, but yes, maybe a game set in the Rocky Mountains playing on indian lore would attract a new and somewhat more sophisticated audience.

  5. Raph I am nervous, I want the spread of ideals both Western and Eastern Ideals, but governments (including the US with Homeland security) want to suppress the spread of ideology.

    I have a feeling in a few years the internet as we know it will be dead, and that will be a true loss. I’m scared, this is the freest place on this planet and it seems like the governments are coming here to suppress this freedom, I really don’t want to lose this.

    What can we do? If you know even…

  6. We can’t have nice things.

  7. Ola, I don’t disagree with you at all, but I do think it’s hard to get projects like that made. Like, whatever happened to the Africa MMO? They just vanished. I guess eGenesis will continue to have virtual Africa all to themselves.

  8. […] family values watchdog groups in France and proposed regulation of user-created content in Korea are but a sample of external governance stories making headlines […]

  9. […] spaces, as a spinoff from Linden Labs’ decency announcement. As a follow-up, Koster notes that South Korea may end up regulating content created by users for online worlds. MMOQuests – So You Want To Be A Raider. A practical […]

  10. […] Korea may regulate user-created content May 17 […]

  11. […] family values watchdog groups in France and proposed regulation of user-created content in Korea are but a sample of external governance stories making headlines […]

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