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A creative work belonging to the categories of literature, science or art can be protected under the Korean Copyright Law. Article 4 of this law defines the meaning of a creative work and lists examples of creative works; however, as our society is undergoing a rapid change and development both in art and culture, the scope of protectable creative works is ever expending.
Originality: It is the expression of the idea or emotion which needs to be original and not copied. It does not need to be artistic or of a certain quality as long as it has originality and shows at least some creativity.
Expression: Concepts, ideas, and styles do not have the ability to express themselves and therefore they do not constitute a creative work by themselves. They must be expressed in a particular form in order to be considered as a creative work, but some intangible methods of expression may also be considered as creative works if they can somehow be felt by others.
Registration of a work means to enroll the name of author and other details of the work on the Copyright Register where it can be viewed by the public. Presumption, defenses, and other legal effects in favor of the registrant are granted as a result of the Copyright registration
Creative work: A person's ideas and emotions can be expressed by ways of letters, sounds, pictures, and images. These expressions are registrable if they contain originality and some creativity.
Artistic copyright: The copyright law separately categorizes the following three types of artistic copyrights in order to protect the embodiment and production of certain efforts.
- Stage performance
Artistic expression of a creative work in the form of, but not limited to, acting, dancing, performing, singing, and producing.
- Musical recording
  A sound (vocal, performance, or sound of nature) fixed in a tangible medium of expression
  (excluding sounds recorded with visual images).
- Broadcasting
  Radio and television broadcasting.
Publication: Many creative works are published under the Contract of Publication. The author may register his/her rights to reproduce, distribute, and record assignment of his rights in order to be protected under the copyright law.
Copyrights do not require any procedural or formal performance. However, the following direct/indirect effects may occur upon registration:
Presumption: The author or an owner registered under the copyright law has the benefit of the doubt and is presumed to be the rightful owner of the proceeds from that copyright, publication, and/or artistic copyright. Any infringement of these rights will result in presumption of negligence and the accused has the burden of proof.
Defense: With registration, assignment of copyrights, publication rights, and artistic copyrights become effective against any third party suing for the assignor for infringement.
Protection period: In case of identifying the true name of an anonymous or unrecognizable author when registering, the period of protection expands from 50 years after the publication to 50 years from the author's death.
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