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South Korean court acquits operators of file-sharing site

[JURIST] A South Korean appeals court Wednesday acquitted the operators of a Korean-language website that allows users to freely swap song files. Yang Jung-hwan and his brother, Il-hwan, created Soribada [corporate website in Korean] South Korea's most popular music-swapping site, in 2000. Prosecutors indicted them in 2001 [CNET report] on criminal charges of aiding copyright infringement, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. The Seoul High Court [official profile from the Supreme Court of Korea] held that those who download songs through Soribada do commit copyright infringement, but that the Yang brothers could not be held responsible for merely providing the service. The Yangs insisted that their service only provides private channels of communication and that they had no ability to control or monitor users' activities. AP has more. South Korean music labels say they lose millions of dollars in album sales because of Soribada. File-sharing exchanges are particularly popular in South Korea, where 70 percent of homes have high-speed broadband Internet access. From South Korea Chosun Ilbo provides local coverage.

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