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[HanCinema's News] South Korean Streaming Companies Call for Review of Netflix Law


Domestic streaming companies in South Korea have recently been calling for the government to review the Netflix Free Rider Law which was passed in May. The Netflix Free Rider Law was passed this May to deal with the issue of Netflix and other foreign companies being able to use South Korea's domestic Internet infrastructure at no cost. Ironically the same streaming companies now protesting the law were among its intended beneficiaries, as the law addressed an unfair advantage enjoyed by foreign companies not subject to local telecommunications restrictions.

The problem with the Netflix Free Rider Flaw, from the perspective of the affected companies, is the law's ambiguous wording. The threshold for which companies are affected by the law are companies which account 1% for all the country's traffic. But it's actually quite difficult to calculate which companies are actually at that threshold. This renders it difficult to know for certain which companies are actually affected by the law.

Another problem is that the law mandates a generic level of safety in connections used by streaming companies. While some technical terms are used to define an acceptable level of safety, in practice there are so many different levels of service it's difficult to quantify which levels of service meet the safety threshold. Other sectors of South Korea's telecommunications industry are also preparing official responses to the law and its unintended consequences over the last four months.

Written by William Schwartz

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