Dr. Stephen Shin, assistant professor of sport science, recently attended and presented at the annual Sport and Recreation Law Association (SRLA) conference in Denver, Co. Shin, as a co-author with other colleagues from the University of New Mexico presented the topic of “Copyright Issues in the Korean eSports under the Online Piracy Prevention Clause of the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and South Korea” at the oral presentation session.
eSports, an abbreviation of electronic sports, is a virtual leisure activity which has been developed through the Internet or Local Area Network (LAN). Since the influence of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into effect on and after March 15, 2012 between the United States and South Korea, in terms of intellectual property rights, game development companies such as Blizzard and EA Sports. have been protected from the video game piracy. However, the involvement of game users in eSports has been decreased with the restraint of communication freedom over the Internet even regarding legitimate sharing activities. This presentation reviewed the extent to which the Online Piracy Prevention Clause of the FTA has been applied to the game piracy situations, discussed how it has affected the Korean eSports industry, and concluded by making suggestions that protect the intellectual property rights of game development companies and concurrently promote the eSports industry.