Dear IT friends,
Learn from South Korean ICT policy ; Protecting creativity by Parody Exemption
Last week, I visited South Korea and met with local government officials for IT development, and participated in the fourth Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF).
As we all know, South Korea is already one of the ICT giants in the world. Promoting a positive image for ICT is also an area that a lot of efforts are spent. Recently, its government even established a new Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
When I was flipping TV channels in the hotel, I found a Channel IT dedicated to ICT news and digital entertainment shows, including showing off the latest tech gadgets, with attractive looking hosts to make ICT more "hip." The government will also organize a national contest for university and secondary school students to find "Korea's next Bill Gates," with the top ten finishing students to be awarded a considerable grant to pursue his or her ICT studies and dreams!
South Korea also offers great support to the ICT industry in, for instance, lowering the barriers on government outsourcing projects, such that projects under a certain amount will be offered exclusively for tender by SMEs of under 300 employees. Government R&D fundings are also flexible such that private companies can preserve the intellectual property resulting from government-sponsored research. These are all good policy references, pointing to us the need for having our Technology Bureau in Hong Kong.
Switching to another topic, the government is currently consulting the public on the treatment of parody under the copyright regime. Netizens are worried that common derivatives or secondary creation works online may be breaching the law, even after certain exemption on parody is applied in the new law. How do we balance the right to such secondary creation works with copyright protection? What are the alternatives? My office will host a "Protection of Parody under the Copyright Law" discussion forum on September 14 (this Saturday), in Cantonese. Please join us and express your views, by clicking here to register online. Thank you!