Korea launches new anti-piracy campaign


SEOUL -- The Korean Film Council kicked off a new campaign against film piracy on Thursday focused on raising public awareness of the serious effects of piracy in Korea.

Together with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and major figures from all parts of the local film industry, KOFIC led a discussion about Korea's online and offline piracy problems and launched various measures to teach the public that the industry's health depends on people paying for content.

KOFIC unveiled a new public relations video designed to emphasize the dangers piracy poses to the local movie industry. That video will air in movie theaters, on cable TV channels and on DVDs.

In addition, actors Ahn Sung-ki, Lee Jun-ki and Uhm Tae-woong were announced at "ambassadors" in the fight against piracy.

Despite Korea's thriving theatrical boxoffice, which topped $1 billion in 2006 -- the fifth biggest in the world -- DVD sales are anemic, less than $80 million and declining.

Industry observers believe that Korea's extremely deep broadband Internet penetration has greatly spurred the piracy problem. There is a plethora of online options top watch movies and televsion in Korea , but many people are unaware that such services do not pay for their content.

A spokesman for KOFIC said that the campaign will focus on awareness because the organization lacks enforcement powers, but hopes that Korea's National Assembly will address law enforcement issues when it reconvenes in the new year.