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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has decided against bending to a South Korean law that could require it to hand over to the government the identity of p…

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has decided against bending to a South Korean law that could require it to hand over to the government the identity of people who upload videos to YouTube Korea. To get around the regulation, the company will no longer let South Koreans post videos or comments on the site, according to a report in the Korean paper Hankyore.

By limiting uploads and comments, Google could potentially lose some share in the online video market in South Korea because it will be more difficult for people there to interact with the site. But The Korea Times notes that South Koreans can easily get around Google’s restrictions by changing their “country preferences.” Also, it’s not like Google has that much share to lose: It is still in fourth place in the online-video market in South Korea, according to KoreaCrunch. Google’s decision will definitely win it some points among those who fear that the company’s “don’t do evil” mantra has fallen by the wayside in other markets, particularly China.

Google had wrestled with how to comply with the new law. Late last month, a Google spokeswoman told paidContent.org that the company had not yet decided how to respond.

  1. I think it's the battle between freedom of speech and responsible speech (as enforced by the government) being played out here. Google/YouTube certainly needs to continue to play its part not just in promoting freedom of speech on the internet, but to promote responsible speech i.e. freedom does not equal being able to say anything you want irresponsibly or without taking responsibility – which does mean that local law/regulation needs to be enforced when that line is crossed.

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