One group of lawyers said their copyright must be protected even though the porn business is illegal here, but other lawyers said the lawsuit does not make sense as the business is not legal in Korea.
Police said Thursday that a group of 50 pornography producers in the two countries have filed a lawsuit against the Koreans for allegedly uploading films onto file-sharing Web sites and then charging subscribers to download them.
Police said the film producers hired a domestic law firm to present their cases. Nearly 10 police stations are involved in investigating the accused because so many are implicated in the litigation.
"We selected about 10,000 user IDs who are suspected of reaping business gains through their habitual uploading of foreign pornography on the Web sites," a lawyer for the filmmakers said. "We will also take legal action against some 80 file-sharing service providers for assisting in the distribution of the content."
The lawyer added that they had sorted out nearly 100,000 IDs used to download their content and will take extra legal steps against the users. He said underage users would be excluded from the lawsuit.
The number of the accused will likely be under 10,000 in view of the fact that each user generally has more than one ID, police said. But it is assumed that thousands will still be investigated.
In a complaint filed with police, they said domestic file-sharing Web sites broke copyright protection regulations. "If this continues, Korea's credibility will be damaged," it said.
The lawyer said this case would help raise public awareness of the importance of copyright and how frequently piracy has been committed in the country.
To bolster their cases, the producers submitted to a court a letter issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, stating that copyright of porn movies should be protected regardless of its business legitimacy. The Korea Copyright Commission also backs the idea.
But many independent lawyers and judges claim the suit is legally groundless. A senior judge said, "It doesn't make sense that those running illegal businesses file complaints against users of illegal content."