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New law to protect commercial value of celebrities' names and images
A new law gives public figures the right to demand reparations if they suffer financial damage when someone is illegally using their name or pictures.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the new legislation had passed the state council.
Current laws are limited to protecting one's name and image as a personal right but do not protect against property damages.
Consequently, the amount of compensation allowed by current laws is much less than the actual damages incurred.
Under the new legislation, the illicit use of a popular figure's portrait and name will be deemed an act of unfair competition, which subject financial losses caused to civil or administrative penalties.
It is the first law to protect the so-called 'publicity right' held by popular figures to authorize the use of their name or photos in commercials and other forms of media.