In April 2013, attorney Mr. Wonil Chung successfully obtained a Supreme Court’s ruling which overturned lower court’s decision in connection with the sponsored links, Internet keyword advertising services, operated by Overture Services Inc., a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Yahoo! Inc. Before this ruling from the Supreme Court of South Korea, there had been an increased controversy over whether Overture system user’s deployment of an automated program to access to the sponsored links could fall into a crime causing a harm to the Internet network system. In this case, attorney Mr. Chung argued before the Supreme Court of South Korea that it cannot constitute a statutory crime, otherwise the result would be an over-reaching of Korean criminal statute and cause an excessive chilling effect on the free access to the Internet. Responding to Mr. Chung’s arguments, the Supreme Court of South Korea held that it does not constitute a statutory crime of interference with stable operation of the Internet network. With its ruling, the Court struck down the prosecutor’s attempt of excessive criminalization and reinforced online service user’s right of free and unrestricted access to the Internet network.
This litigation victory obtained by Mr. Chung was highly covered by various media outlets, and there is no doubt that this decision will also likely have important implications to other foreign IT Companies which provide similar keyword advertising services both in South Korea and abroad.
Mr. Wonil Chung is a Korean licensed litigator and has successfully represented numerous foreign clients at the Korean courts to protect their interests in South Korea. He can be reached by email.
© 2013 Chung & Partners