Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
Google has announced the long-anticipated re-enabling of YouTube Uploads in South Korea more than three years after local regulation forced the restriction.
Last month Korea abolished laws that prevented Internet users posting comment anonymously, and those rules affected all domestic Web services with 100,000 daily visitors or more. YouTube, and 150 other services, had been told to implement system to ensure that all commenting users provided their real name and ID, but Google opted to avoid complications by disabling local uploads altogether.
So, while Korean visitors were able to watch content, they had been unable to upload their own, although work-about methods — such as logging in via a different country’s version of YouTube — were known and used.
Following the law change, Google said it was working to enable uploads again and a Google spokesperson confirmed that the feature is back and live today:
We are happy to announce that we have enabled comments and video uploads on the desktop for YouTube users who choose Korea as their preferred country from today. YouTube users in Korea who choose Korea as their preferred country will now be able to write comments and upload videos.
We hope that more uploading and commenting means an even bigger YouTube community in Korea. We look forward to hearing more from you.
The move is a significant one for both sides. For YouTube it will reinvigorate its community in Korea, while users in the country gain access to international audiences with their content.
Korea’s pop industry is already making much use of YouTube and is benefiting massively from the Internet and social media — as we explained in May — and Google itself has lent a hand.
Despite the upload freeze, a dedicated K-Pop page has been on YouTube since November, following an agreement with Google, while a K-Pop Hub was established on Google+ this year.
The real significant of the re-enabling of uploads will be felt by independent artists, however, many of whom will be inspired by the global response to PSY’s Gangnam Style video. In a further indicator of the significance of today’s news, the cult hit — which has been mimicked the world over — has passed 100 million views.
The video has led to PSY to sign with Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, and his rise demonstrates the vast potential of the Web and the importance that all South Korean artists, be they professional, indie or amateur, are able to post their video content to YouTube.
Only time will tell if today’s news helps inspire more viral videos from the country.
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