On December 13, 2012, South Korea acceded to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“Hague Child Abduction Convention”), whereby South Korea became the 89th contracting nation to the convention.
Concluded in October 1980, the Hague Child Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty aiming at prompt return of wrongfully removed or retained child from one contracting nation to another. Under the Convention, any person or institution claiming that a child has been removed or retained in breach of custody rights may apply to any other contracting nation for assistance in securing the return of the child.
As with the Convention entering into force on March 1, 2013, South Korea enacted a subsequent domestic legislation concerning the implementation of the Convention. Under the new legislation, the foreign spouse who is the citizen of the contracting nation of the Convention can make application to the Minister of Justice of South Korea for the assistance of return of child wrongfully abducted to South Korea. The case asserting the return of the child pursuant to the Convention is under the exclusive jurisdiction of Seoul Family Court. The court may issue a preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo. Also the court may dismiss the application for the return of the child when, among others, it has passed 1 or more years since the abduction and the child has already adjusted herself into the current environment. The person who Continue reading
In September 2012, Chung & Partners successfully advised a Korean real estate development company(the “Company”) in connection with a project financing for the land acquisition, development and construction of commercial building to be built in downtown Seoul. The financing package enabled our client to receive funds in the amount equivalent to USD 140,000,000. Thanks to this transaction, the Company has successfully launched the project.
Our attorney Mr. Wonil Chung acted as counsel for the Company and provided legal advice on every aspect of the deal from structuring to documentation.
Our attorney, Wonil Chung, Esq. was invited to speak on the entertainment law practice at the 20th Annual Conference of International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL), which was held from September 13 to 16, 2012.
At the conference session titled “K-POP & Entertainment Law”, Mr. Chung gave an English presentation in front of U.S. and Korean licensed lawyers and law school students on the various legal issues arising out of the Korean music business, so-called “K-POP” and introduced recent high-profile litigations involving famous K-POP artists such as TVXQ, KARA and big management companies such as SM Entertainment.
Mr. Wonil Chung, a Korean licensed lawyer, has extensive experience in advising and representing Korean and non-Korean clients on various issues involving Korean laws such as intellectual property, Continue reading
There have been disputes as to whether Digital Rights Management(DRM) does violate competition law. By using a DRM, the company can tie the playback of certain digital files to its own IT device. The problem arises when the company has a dominant market position, because it entails an argument from competitors that the company has abused its dominant market position to distort a free competition at the market.
In November last year, the Supreme Court of Korea firstly issued a ruling addressing this issue. The case dates back to 2006, when Fair Trade Commission(FTC) of South Korea ordered SK Telecom, the largest mobile carrier company and music download service provider, to lift up a DRM which had prevented the purchasers of MP3 mobile phone of SK Telecom from playing MP3 files downloaded from other online music store that SK Telecom does not operate. SK Telecom had appealed the FTC’s decision to the court.
At the heart of this lawsuit lies the issue of whether SK Telecom’s use of DRM does constitute an abuse of its dominant market position under Korean Competition law. In this regard, the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act(MRFTA) of Korea provides that any market dominant enterpriser shall not commit an act of either (i) unreasonably interfering with the business activities of other enterprisers or (ii) unreasonably doing considerable harm to the interests of consumers. The FTC found SK Telecom’s using a DRM Continue reading
It was reported that last month Apple’s South Korean office paid $945 of compensation to a South Korean iPhone user for the breaching of privacy by the controversial iPhone user location tracking. Here is the detail from Reuters.
By the way, some news providers reported that this was the ruling from a Korean district court. I, as a Korean lawyer, think that statement is half right and half wrong. Basically it is true that the court issued a ruling which ordered the Apple Korea to pay $945 to the user. But this was not the formal trial case, but a Request for a Payment Order case. Payment order is much convenient & simplified legal procedures for claimant to get a judgment from the court compared to a formal lawsuit. Once a request filed, the Korean court does not question the debtor (in this case, the Apple Korea) and issue a Payment Order within 2 or 4 weeks (in certain courts, within a few days). This payment order, a sort of ruling, asks the opposing party to choose whether to admit the claim as written on the request or to make an objection. If no objection has been raised from the opposing party within 2 weeks, then Continue reading
A few days ago, Seoul Central Court ruled in favor of Starbucks Korea in a copyright lawsuit filed by the Korea Music Copyright Association alleging the Starbucks Korea should pay royalties in playing copyrighted music in its outlets. I wrote some posts regarding this issue here and here. The legal issue was whether playing copyrighted music substitutes a mail business of Starbucks Korea. That is because Continue reading
South Korean popstar RAIN (Chung, Ji-hoon) and his ex-agency JYP Entertainment had lost their lawsuit in Hawaiian District Court brought by a local promoter, Click Entertainment, alleging Rain’s last-minute cancellation of Honolulu concert in 2007 cost them $1.5 million and caused damage to the company’s reputation.
A couple of days ago, the court found in Click’s favour, ruling that Rain and JYP were guilty of both breach of contract and fraud. Nearly $5 million of the damages payment are punitive, with Rain himself and JYP ordered to pay half each.
It is reported that Rain has testified he didn’t know why the concert had been cancelled and the cancellation was out of his control.
I think many people, especially outside of Korea, wonder how the singer, the performer himself, couldn’t know the reason of the cancellation and how he could say it was “out of his control”. In this regard, I think people should know more about Korean music business to understand Rain’s comment.
In Korea, almost every singers and bands are under exclusive contracts with certain entertainment entrepreneurs, called “Ghi-Hoek-Sa”, which is the mixture of agencies and management companies, yes, they’re doing both of jobs in Korea. The problem is the contract between the singers and the entrepreneur is being criticized as very unfavorable to the singers. For example, the term of the contract is very long, Continue reading