South Korea Deters Spies With Copyright Law

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Apparently concerned that North Korean spies and saboteurs could adopt the South Korean uniform in order to infiltrate Southern forces, the South Korean military is patenting the camouflage pattern its troops wear. The fear, perhaps understandable, is that North Koreans infiltrators will don the South Korean uniform. The proposed solution, which makes a bit less sense, assumes that spies from one of the world's most criminal regimes will be deterred by the threat of low-level copyright infringement. TechDirt's Mike Masnick reports:

I'm not quite sure how South Korean patent law works, or how it's even possible to patent such a thing there, but if the goal really is to prevent nefarious enemy soldiers from dressing up in South Korean uniforms, you'd have to imagine it's not going to be effective. After all, if we're talking about an army invading or infiltrating, one imagines that they wouldn't have much concern about how they're also infringing on the patent.

But why stop there? If South Korea believes that copyright law could be an effective deterrent against North Korean aggression, why not patent their weapons as well? Then the North Korean military would be compelled to fight unarmed. If South Korea really wants to bring the fight to Kim Jong-Il, they should just trademark the word "Korea," thus forcing Kim's regime to abdicate and finally allow reunification.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.