By Park Si-soo
A court ruled Thursday that shooting a commercial ad against the backdrop of a building without the approval of the architect constitutes copyright infringement, but is limited to those built according to the architect’s ``unique, thus inimitable’’ creativity.
This is the first ruling of its kind in Korea.
The Seoul Central District Court made the ruling after ad agency Pomato reached an agreement with architect Min Kyu-am to pay 10 million won ($7,300) in compensation for shooting an ad for Kookmin Bank, aired between August 2005 and May 2006, with a uniquely-shaped construction called ``UV House,’’ designed by Min, in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, as the background.
In the ruling, the court said, ``the building is apparently a creative output of the architect bearing inimitable beauty. Images of buildings and facilities in open space may be freely used for non-commercial purposes but that’s not the case here.’’