Redstone hails copyright in Korea

Viacom chief's first visit focused on consumers, content

SEOUL – Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom and CBS, launched the annual Seoul Digital Forum Tuesday with a keynote address focusing on the importance of original content and copyright protection in the digital age.

Redstone, visiting Korea for the first time, focused much of his talk on consumers.

"Audiences are the ultimate arbiters of success in the media age. Consumers dictate the pace of change, and they are more evolutionary than revolutionary," Redstone said.

Redstone called South Korea "easily the most advanced market when it comes to the digital generation," adding, "Korea is the content factory of Asia." "That wealth of content puts Korea in the catbird seat," he said.

In addition, Redstone also talked about protectionism and market over-regulation around the world. "In too many regions, government regulation has not kept pace with consumer demand," he said. "It is vital to protect creative contributions around the world."

Redstone also called on Internet service providers to join copyright protection efforts. "It is impossible to check every computer in the world," he said. "We need ISPs to be aware of piracy and to do something about it."

The Seoul Digital Forum runs through Thursday, gathering leading technology and media industry figures sponsored by South Korea's SBS television network.

Redstone met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak before the speech. Lee also addressed the gathering.

The event in recent years has drawn Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Associated Press president and CEO Tom Curley gave last year's keynote speech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.