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From: LabourNet <chrisbailey@GN.APC.ORG>
Subject: Korean labour website under attack
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 10:54 AM

Sender: jinbonet <jinbonet@www.jinbo.net>
Subject: [antiposco] urgent about freedom of expression

Korean labour website under attack

From JinboNet/NodongNet, 11 April 2000

We Oppose the POSCO’s attack on the Anti-POSCO Homepage

Statement from JinboNet (Korean Progressive Network) and NodongNet (Labornet in South Korea)

1. JinboNet (Korean Progressive Network) and NodongNet (Labornet in South Korea) protest against application for a provisional injunction of the Anti-POSCO Homepage (http://antiposco.nodong.net) by Pohang Iron & Steel Co.Ltd. (POSCO). POSCO asserts that the design of Anti-POSCO homepage violates the copyright of its own homepage.(http://www.posco.co.kr) However, we assert that POSCO applies the copyright in too broad terms, and thereby attacks the freedom of expression on the web

2. The internet is a space for all walks of people to express and assert their own opinion without any restriction. Also, there are a lot of parody-sites against corporate sites in the world, by which people can express their opposition against corporations. This freedom of expression on the web is an absolute, unalienable right, as is the case of coporate rights to advertise itself by Internet. And it natural that these parody sites have used the targets’ logos and designs. It is definitely a just way to express one’s own ideas or opinions.

3. The main contents of Anti-POSCO Homepage are related to the news of Sammi Special Steelty Co. workers’ struggle, the demands of workers, and so on. The Seoul High Court has already decided that the Sammi workers demand (reintatement of Sammi union leaders and activists) was right. But, POSCO refused to implement the verdict of the court. This homepage opened in order to publicize this information more widely. And inorder to express the protest against POSCO, this Anti-POSCO Homepage is designed as a parody site. This parody homepage is the minimal means of expression by the socially weak, who are protesting against a giant corporation.

4. POSCO’s application for the provisional injunction against this Anti-POSCO homepage is merely a legal violence of the giant corporation in the name of the copyright. Furthermore, POSCO is a state-run company, whose social accountability should not allow any infringement of freedom of expression. Generally, the copyright is a right to protect corporations from commercial loss or serious damage by business rivals. But, the Anti-POSCO Homepage is not for commercial purpose, and not the rival of POSCO’s. Also, this homepage does not make a false description. So, we look upon the POSCO’s legal application as a violation by the giant enterprise of the freedom of expression on the Internet.

5. Finally, we demand the POSCO to immediately cancel the application against Anti-POSCO Homepage, to implement court decisions and rehire the Sammi workers who are fired unfairly. If the POSCO refuse to accept our just demand, it will, we solemnly war, be faced with an enormous wave of protest by thousands of Netizens, as well as workers, nationally and internationally, who are extremely indignant at the infringement of the freedom of expression on the Internet.