Domestic b.o. to support Korean film

Up to 3% will go back to local industry

SEOUL -- Boxoffice revenue from Korean films will be partly used to nurture the production of future domestic films starting in 2011, according to the Korean Film Council.

Up to 3% of boxoffice sales in local theaters are collected by the Korean government to be used as a public fund to invest in Korean cinema, and about half of those fees -- 7.5 billion won ($5.9 million) -- will be invested on domestic film production.

In a press conference held Wednesday on the council's long-term policy plan, KOFIC also said it will expand the scale of investment in new media to 600 billion won by 2012, and increase the number of screens in art house theaters.

Separately, the council announced it will set up an investment fund worth 100 billion won for local companies to participate in international co-production.

To promote new-media market, the council said it will develop a central system that assures safe distribution of online films and better trace the circulation of illegal softwares.

A major part of the council's plan Wednesday was spent on stressing the needs to eradicate film piracy both on and off line.

"It took an immense effort for the Korean government to resolve the issue of copyrights," said Yu In-chon, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the meeting, noting the latest announcement by the U.S. Trade Representative, who lifted Korea from the priority watch list of countries who fail to protect the copyrights of intellectual property since their first report in 1989. "Member states of OECD still raise the problem of illegal downloading, and it's a matter of time that we become a target (of watch list) if we fail to terminate this habit."