(1) This decision affirmed the decision of appellate court (2003Na21140) which held an intermediary – “Soribada” - liable for aiding copyright infringement for the first time. In Korea, aiding and abetting have different meanings in civil liability and criminal liability. Article 760 of the Civil Act on joint tort treats aider and abettor the same. On the contrary, punishment for aiding a crime and punishment for abetting a crime are different: the latter is punished the same with the principal (Article 31(1) of the Criminal Act), while the former gets its punishment reduced (Article 32 of the Criminal Act).
(2) The Court stated that acts assisting infringement of the right to reproduce refers to all direct and indirect acts that facilitate the violation of the right held by other parties, and it is possible to assist the infringement recklessly as well as negligently. "Soribada" is accountable for aiding and abetting since they had dolus eventualis of, or at least could have expected, the circumstances by which the service would enable users to violate copyright. Yet, they developed and distributed "Soribada" program free of charge, operated the server, provided users with connection information of other users, and facilitated the infringement by letting the users share and copy MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3 (MP3) files converted from music CDs by use of the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) method.
Topic, claim, or defense
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Knowledge (Includes Notice and Takedown)