KBS withheld rerun payments from various K-drama actors, embroiled in controversy
On March 15th, media outlet Chosun Dotcom reported that KBS did not pay rerun fees for several dramas aired last year. There are a total of 4 works, including “Jinxed at First” starring Girls’ Generation Seohyun, “Crazy Love” starring Kim Jae Wook & f(x) Krystal, “Curtain Call” starring Kang Ha Neul & Ha Ji Won, and “If You Wish Upon Me” starring Ji Chang Wook & Girls’ Generation Sooyoung.
According to reports, all those dramas were independently produced by external production companies and only signed broadcasting contracts with KBS. In the past, broadcasting companies directly produced dramas, but recently, more and more external production companies made dramas at their own expense, then sell broadcasting rights to broadcasters.
The basis of KBS’s refusal to pay rerun fees lies in Article 100 of the Copyright Act. In particular, Article 100 of the Copyright Act states, “The necessary rights for the use of audiovisual works are presumed to have been transferred from the video production cooperation company to the video producer”. In this regard, KBS said, “Since the video producer owns the copyright, they are also responsible for the payment of rerun fees.”
However, some argue that KBS is using the law in the opposite way of its original legislative purpose. This law was established when broadcasting companies still directly produced video content. In other words, the term “video producer” here actually refers to broadcasting companies.
The Korea Broadcasters Performers’ Rights Association (KoBPRA) pointed out, “The law, which was originally intended to protect production companies from broadcasting companies’ abuse of power, is being used to exert even more abuse of power.”
Unlike KBS, MBC and SBS are known to have paid rerun fees to the casts even with dramas they purchased broadcasting rights.