Television and radio, or traditional mass-media, has transmitted information and opinions gathered and coordinated by their producers, the number of whom occupying a small portion of the whole population. In the 21st century, celebrities, opinion leaders or lay people with wide human networks can offer and spread their opinion to their followers or people under their networks through social media due to the popularity of smart devices with social network services/sites (SNS).
Public sharing of a motion picture digital file has become convenient through mobile devices in people’s hands. For example, YouTube is a frequently used tool for sharing image or video. A series of lectures by popular lecturers can be searched and listened anytime and anywhere with mobile smart devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and Galaxy S.
The smart devices with functions of shooting a scene, and making it digital file encourage their users to try becoming digital-product-creators, and uploading their products on social network sites for public sharing. Such web-based sharing of digital products contributes to inter-activity of users of the products within a short time. The users are able
to become producers next time through the smart devices later on the basis of internet. These trends are the characteristics of the current era of so called interactive media.
From the legal perspective, the trend promotes individuals’ liberties to make and use digital cultural products to a much higher level than the era of traditional mass media since administrative governing overall all activities on the internet is much more difficult than that on some mass-media.
Along with the promoted freedom of speech on web, on the other hand, negative aspects with respect to other people’s rights have caused more offenses on the web such as libel, slander, copy-right infringement, misuse of individual information, and privacy-intervention.
In Korea, where SNS has become an important tool to communicate, much more crimes have been reported to Cyber Terror Response Center operated by police (http://www.ctrc.go.kr), and Korea Internet Security Agency (http://www.1336.or.kr). Although legislators have kept up with rapid change of information and communication technology(ICT), some loopholes remain which current law have not covered, such as no punishment for attempt for DDOS attack against private network system, or no felonymurder or misdemeanor-manslaughter rule.
In order to deal effectively with the rapidly shifting technology, and evolving criminal methods, potential legal experts should examine the loopholes of the current law by studying other advanced countries’ law on regulating ICT and SNS as well as Korean laws, and referring to scholars’ theses for further study.