Tech and entertainment industries cheer U.S.-South Korea trade agreement

The deal is expected to result in stronger intellectual property protections for American movie, music and software makers, as well as clearer enforcement of international laws and a more efficient process for customs and imports. The entertainment industry welcomed the specific enforcement provisions included in the agreement.

"The Korea FTA provides specific references to the need to prosecute not only direct infringers, but also those who 'profit from developing and maintaining services that effectively induce infringement.' Korea also undertook to provide legal incentives for service providers to cooperate with right holders in deterring piracy," remarked Neil Turkewitz, Recording Industry of America Association Executive Vice President.

"In doing so, Korea has taken a significant step toward a more effective system for combating the high levels of online copyright infringement that currently prevail, and we strongly endorse this agreement."


In an official statement, President Obama focused on the potential economic benefits for the American manufacturing and consulting services industries.

"American manufacturers of cars and trucks will gain more access to the Korean market and a level playing field to take advantage of that access," Obama said. "We are strengthening our ability to create and defend manufacturing jobs in the United States; increasing exports of agricultural products for American farmers and ranchers; and opening Korea’s services market to American companies."

Specifically, the agreement extends intellectual property protections by ensuring copyright holders have the exclusive right to publish their works online. It also bans the hacking of technology used to protect copyrighted work from unauthorized duplication.

The agreement also addresses online piracy, strengthens copyright enforcement by criminalizing end-user copyright theft, outlaws the use of camcorders in cinemas and provides law enforcement the necessary authority to seize and destroy counterfeit goods and the equipment used to produce them. The entertainment industry believes that authority will dissuade counterfeiters from using South Korea as a conduit for their illegal trade.

The agreement also expands access to the Korean market for American motion picture and television companies by improving opportunities for foreign-owned broadcasters and establishing zero tariffs on most entertainment products. It also ensures nondiscriminatory access to Korea’s online market of over 15 million broadband subscribers for U.S. firms.