Saturday, June 26, 2010

What the ... plagarism?!?

Once again a Korean pop star has made the news for ripping off a western stars music. Lee HyoRi was in trouble in 2006 for plagarising a Britney spears song. Now she, or rather the seven member songwriters’ group Bahnus Vacuum, is in trouble for ripping off various artists on SIX of teh songs on her new album.

Plagariasm is extremely wide spread in South Korea. It isn't restricted to just the academic arena. As the article shows it is rampant in the music industry. You can also see it business names or logos and even The Korean Times. From my 9+ years experience it seems to be an accepted fact of life in Korea.

I remember one of my old co-workers talking about her favourite student. He was accepted to a University in Japan. He almost got expelled because his first assignment was plagiarised. He was lucky and got let off with a warning. Back home he would have gotten and F and if it wasn't the first time he would have been expelled. Koreans just don't seem to take copyright or plagiarism seriously. When they go out in the world they tend to get a rude awakening.

The final statement in the article shows just how ignorant many Koreans are of their own laws, . Composer Park Deok-sang said “Plagiarism is a matter related to an individual composer’s conscience. There should be laws or systems to define what is plagiarism,”.

There ARE laws to define it you moron. There are dictionaries to define it. As the article mentions just before that moronic statement was made people who have had their work plagiarised can take their complaints to the Korean Copyright Commission or to court. Those convicted can receive up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of 50 Million Won. There ARE laws and definitions in place. As with a lot of other laws they are ones that many Koreans simply choose to ignore.

And there dear Brutus lies the rub. Koreans know they commit plagiarism and violate copyrights. Many feign ignorance but even the "outside world" knows how often it happens in South Korea. Why do you think Iron Man 2 opened in South Korea so early? Hopefully South Koreans get their act together and stop plagiarising ... but I won't hold my breathe.

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