Textcube, created by Tatter and Company (TNC), was bought by Google in September last year.
Now Gargle has barred subscribers from uploading songs onto their blogs, “citing the country’s new anti-file sharing provisions aimed at thwarting online piracy,” says Korea Times.
“As of Monday, Textcube users were blocked from uploading MP3, WMA, WAV and other types of music files on their blogs, while existing songs were blinded and are now accessible only to the logged-in owners of the blogs,” says the story, going on:
“Music on Textcube blogs is now limited to the short samples sold by Soribada (www.soribada.com), a music downloading site, company officials said.”
After being forced offline by the KMPA, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s Korean version of the RIAA, Soribada, the country’s largest p2p file sharing company, reappeared in February with the news that users would have to pay “service fees” for downloading music files, p2pnet reported in 2006.
And in April, “South Korea is now among countries whose leaders believe it`s part of their elected duty to become taxpayer-funded copyright enforcers on behalf of the hugely wealthy corporate movie and music industries,” said p2pnet, going on:
“An anti-file sharing law has been passed by Lee Myung-bak`s South Korea government, ‘despite protests from Internet companies and civil liberties advocates that it could threaten the freedom of expression on the Internet,’ says the Korea Times.
“Lawmakers also okayed a bill calling for the, ‘strengthening of the real-name verification on Web sites,’ says the story, going on according to the ‘bulked-up copyright law,’ the government can nosw shut down an online message board for up to six months once the site is, ‘warned for a third time to delete pirated content and prevent its movement’.”
Now, “Predictably, the move is touching off fierce criticism from Internet users who are accusing Google of clipping their freedom to use copyrighted content,” says the most recent Korea Times story, continuing:
Other blogging services, such as Daum’s Tistory (www.tistory.com), provide search functions that enable bloggers to identify copyrighted content before uploading them.
“Google decided to burn the house down just to catch a mosquito,” said a blogger called “sid S. Jeong.”
“Bloggers should be provided with the freedom to use their own music files and also a system that makes it easier for them to purchase the transmission rights for songs from copyright holders.”
Google Korea officials claim that the changes were inevitable, as the company has yet to develop a tool to differentiate between legal and illegal content.
Last month, “Google blocked users from posting videos and comments on the Korean site of YouTube (kr.youtube.com), its online video service,” says the story, adding:
“This was to avoid the new regulations that mandate Internet users to make verifiable real-name registrations on all Web sites with more than 100,000 daily visitors, which means they have to submit their resident registration codes, the Korean equivalent of social security numbers.
“Complying with the real-name rules would have been an enormous risk for Google, as the government could later demand user information from the company, not a precedent it wants to show to other countries.”
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bought by Google – Google Googles Korea`s TNC, September 12, 2008
Korea Times – Google Bans Music Uploads From Blogs, May 26, 2009
p2pnet – Korea bans p2p file sharing, June 12, 2006
p2pnet – New South Korea `3 strikes` copyright law, April 6, 2009
Korea Times – `Upload a Song, Lose Your Internet Connection`, April 5, 2009
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