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Supreme Court Says Setting Up Link to Adult Sites Is Violation of the Law

Supreme Court Says Setting Up Link to Adult Sites Is Violation of the Law

Posted July. 29, 2003 21:48,   


Setting up link to an adult Web site constitutes violation of the law, which bans indiscreet distribution of adult materials, the Supreme Court ruled.

Justice Park Jae-yoon at the Supreme Court struck down the ruling at the lower appellate court and return to the case filed against Lee, who set up link to an adult Web site on his homepage, to Suwon district court.

“Internet link can be viewed as an act of offering the content of other Web sites to users through a simple click,˝ the court ruled. ˝Setting up link on his own Web site is, therefore, equivalent to displaying adult content himself rather than merely introducing other sites.”

Lee operated his own Web site from May through June 1998, setting up link to other adult sites, and was charted with violation of the electronic communication law. The district court and the appellate court, however, found him not guilty, citing the link could not be seen as displaying adult materials.

Yet, the ruling by the Supreme Court will most likely spark controversy given the nature of the Internet. Although most of Internet homepages set up link to other sites for user convenience, they have no authorities to manage or control adult content popped up unexpectedly.

“The ruling can be translated into that an operator of an Web site must be held accountable for adult materials popped up out of sudden,” pointed out the Internet industry. “Given the fact that setting up link is a core part of Internet networks, it will be better to encourage operators to made sound decisions rather than regulating the act of linking itself.”

Wi-Yong Jung viyonz@donga.com