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The National Library of Korea collects and preserves online materials highly worth preserving, from among those published in the Republic of Korea.[1]  When the collection of online materials is restricted by a technical protective measure, the National Library may request the cooperation of the relevant online materials provider.  An online materials provider who receives the request must comply with the request unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.[2]  If all or some of online materials are for sale, the National Library must make due compensation for such online materials.[3]

The Library Material Deliberative Committee deliberates on those matters necessary for a determination of the selection, types, and forms of online library materials subject to legal deposit, and their collection procedures.[4]  The online materials collected by the National Library include websites or web resources created in electronic forms, including text, audio, video, or images.[5]

The National Library issues a library material collection certificate to online materials providers when the materials they offer for sale have been collected.[6]  Those providers may then submit a claim for compensation with the National Library.[7]  Upon receipt of a claim for compensation, the Chief Executive of the Library provides compensation for the collected materials at market value.[8]  If there is a considerable difference between the market value of the material and the actual transaction (sale) price of similar materials, or it is agreed that compensation at market value is not reasonable, the Library Material Deliberative Committee will determine the amount of compensation.[9]  

In 2015, 68,408 e-books, 602 audio books (2,251 items), and 296 videos (1,047 items) were collected, and a total of 1,000,000,000 won (about US$939,000) was spent for their purchase or for compensation.[10]

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Prepared by Sayuri Umeda
Foreign Law Specialist*
July 2018

* At present there are no Law Library of Congress research staff members versed in Korean.  This report has been prepared by the author’s reliance on practiced legal research methods and on the basis of relevant legal resources, chiefly in English, currently available in the Law Library and online.

[1] 도서관법 [Library Act], Act No. 8029, Oct. 4, 2006, amended by Act No. 15167, Dec. 12, 2017, art. 20-2, para. 1.  

[2] Id. art. 20-2, para. 2.

[3] Id. art. 20-2, para. 5.

[4] 도서관법 시행령 [Enforcement Decree of the Library Act], Presidential Decree No. 19963, Mar. 27, 2007, amended by Presidential Decree No. 28211, Jul. 26, 2017, art. 13-3, para. 1.

[5] Id. art. 13-2, para. 1; Notification by the National Library of Korea, No. 2011-1, Attachment, Jan. 3, 2011.

[6] Enforcement Decree of the Library Actart. 13-2, para. 2.

[7] Id. art. 13-4, para. 1.

[8] Id. art. 13-4, para. 2.

[9] Id. art. 13-4, para. 3.

[10] 2015 Annual Report of the National Library of Korea § 4.1.2 (May 31, 2016), upload/nl/pds/research_data/year_2015/seji_report.html (in Korean), archived at  

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Last Updated: 12/30/2020