The Interpretational and legislative improvement measures of Article 126 of the Copyright Act - Based on the analysis of the judgments acknowledging infringement of copyright over the past 4 years -
According to an analysis of a total of 270 judgments acknowledging the damages due to copyright infringement over the past four years from November 2017 to November 2021, the court applied Article 126 of the Copyright Act, accounting for about 85%, The lowest acknowledgment rate of about 80%. In particular, when the Plaintiff insisted on Article 125 (2) of the Copyright Act, the acknowledgment rate when the court accepted it and applied Article 125 (2) of the Copyright Act was the highest at 83%, while the acknowledgment rate when the court rejected it and applied Article 126 of the Copyright Act was the lowest. This may mean that if the Plaintiff asserts Article 125 (2) of the Copyright Act, the acknowledgment rate may vary depending on whether the court applies Article 125 (2) of the Copyright Act or Article 126. In addition, the fact that the court recently applied Article 126 of the Copyright Act to 85% of the judgments acknowledging infringement of copyright means that too many trials are calculated at the discretion of Article 126 of the Copyright Act. The fact that the court's acknowledgment rate is significantly lower than when Article 125 (1) or 125 (2) of the Copyright Act was applied means that the legislative purpose of Article 126 of the Copyright Act (to prevent a void in copyright protection by stipulating that damages for copyright infringement can be calculated at the discretion of judges if it is difficult to prove the amount of damage even under Article 125 of the Copyright Act) isn’t being realized properly, and in the end, it can mean that copyright protection through trial is not sufficient. And considering the influence of the judgment, it can mean that economic valuation of copyright in the copyright market can also be lowered. Therefore, this paper analyzed the judgement of “if it is difficult to calculate the amount of damage under Article 125” and then suggested analytical·legislative improvement methods when the court applying Article 126 of the Copyright Act. In order to ensure the predictability of whether it will be calculated under Article 125 (2) of the Copyright Act or under Article 126 of the Copyright Act, it is necessary to establish interpretation standards to ensure predictability of when Article 125(2) will be applied and Article 126 will be applied, and not only the decreasing factors but also the increasing factors needs to be considered more actively. In order to strengthen the objectivity of calculating the amount of damage under Article 126 of the Copyright Act, it is necessary to reflect in detail the factors based on the value evaluation method of copyright and the value evaluation result of the value evaluation model of the Korean Content Assessment Center. Legislatively, it is necessary to consider introducing the provisions of Article 114-4 of the Japanese Copyright Act for accurate and objective calculation of damages and the provisions of supporting professional members of the Japanese Copyright Act in order to effectively utilize Article 129-2 of the Copyright Act.