1) Works by foreigners can be protected in accordance with the treaties to which the Republic of Korea has acceded or ratified. Works by foreigners who permanently reside in the Republic of Korea (e.g., stateless persons and foreign legal persons having their principal offices in the Republic of Korea) and whose works were first made public in the Republic of Korea within thirty days after the day the works were made public in a foreign country shall be protected under the Copyright Act.
2) When a foreign country does not protect the works of nationals of the Republic of Korea, protection of works by nationals from that foreign country can be correspondingly restricted in accordance with treaties and the Copyright Act. Even in this case, this restriction would not be applied to those who permanently reside in the Republic of Korea and stateless persons. This is called the principle of reciprocity. For instance, if computer programs are not subject to copyright protection in a foreign country that is party to a treaty to which the Republic of Korea has acceded, the Republic of Korea does not have to protect such a computer program created by an author having the nationality of that foreign country.
3) An author’s copyright for a work is protected during the author’s lifetime, and the economic rights to such a work continue to subsist until the end of a period of 70 years after the death of the author. When determining the term of an author's economic rights, this term starts from the following year of either the death of the author, the creation of the work or the making public of the work. In the case of a joint-authorship work, the author’s economic rights would continue to subsist for a period of 70 years after the death of the last surviving co-author.
4) Registering copyright of a work is not required to protect the copyright as such protection is automatically effective upon creation of the work. Such copyright registration, however, provides some benefits. Most of all, the copyright holder and creation or publication date are presumed to be those registered. Seeking statutory damages is available against infringement of a registered copyright and the registered copyright can also be recorded with the Customs Office to control the border against suspected copyright infringement. In addition, any person who infringes upon registered copyrights, shall be presumed to have been negligent at least in his/her act of infringement. Transfer (except for inheritance or other successions in general) of an author’s economic rights or restriction of the disposal of such economic rights may be registered. Indeed, the registration is required to be effective against any third party having conflicting legal interests. Copyright registration is handled by the Korea Copyright Commission.