The Sports Law defines sport very broadly, including professional, semi-professional and amateur sporting events. The most common sports are athletics, motorsports, football, cycling, basketball, cricket, taekwondo, rugby and equestrianism.
Access to sports facilities is controlled by event organizers.
To do this, they use real estate rights (i.e. land or adjacent territory), since the sporting events themselves held on the property are not subject to property rights (see “ Victoria Park Racing and Recreation Grounds, Co. Ltd v. Taylor”, 1937 ). On the one hand, this is explained by the fact that the results of most sporting events cannot be predicted, on the other hand, by the fact that the efforts of athletes are aimed at winning, and not at creativity.
By using real estate rights, the organizer can, under certain conditions, allow or not allow fans, film crews, etc. to the event ownership. Outside closed and guarded facilities, it can only be used to a limited extent.
Sports broadcasts and copyright in Korean
In Korean, copyright and related rights are governed by the Copyright Act. Section 22 of this law defines the categories of works that are subject to copyright protection. These include literary and artistic works, musical and audiovisual works, sound recordings and broadcasts. Although sporting events are not included here, the law still explains how the over-the-air signal on which a sporting event is 스포츠중계 can be protected.
For example, section 23 of the Act provides that a literary, artistic or musical work is not protected by copyright unless: reasonable efforts have been made to give the work an original character; and the work has been preserved in writing, recorded, or otherwise reduced to tangible form. From this we can conclude that legislators deliberately did not extend the doctrine of originality to broadcasts, sound recordings and audiovisual works. This is largely due to the commercial nature of such works and, therefore, the ability to protect them through related rights. In this context, the related rights of a broadcaster do not depend on whether the content with which it works is protected by copyright.
The same law (section 2) defines broadcasting as “the transmission by wire or wireless of sounds and/or pictures or their equivalents in such a manner that such pictures or sounds are received by the public, including transmission via satellite.” The law thus implies that broadcasting is the transmission of electromagnetic waves that carry images, sounds, or a combination of them and are distributed over the air or via satellite for reception by the public.
It follows that a broadcast is a carrier electronic radio or television program that is transmitted (in the case of Korean) over wired or wireless channels by or on behalf of a broadcaster for reception by the public. Copyright law does not require that images or sounds carried by a broadcast signal be subject to copyright. Therefore, such images or sounds may refer to sporting events or other non-copyrighted material, provided they are intended for public consumption. When a broadcaster prohibits a particular use of its signal, the prohibition will apply to the content carried by that signal, but only in that particular context and to the extent this particular combination.