Currency Reproduction Guidelines
- The reckless reproduction of currency may encourage counterfeiting and forgery, and undermine the integrity of the national currency. In this light, the Bank of Korea, like all other central banks around the world, has been striving to set desirable practices for currency reproduction by establishing currency reproduction guidelines.
- After 1999, the Bank of Korea established the 「Guidelines for the Reproduction of Bank of Korea Notes and Coins」in order to set desirable practices for currency reproduction. According to the Guidelines, if certain conditions are met, persons are permitted to reproduce currency without obtaining approval from the Bank of Korea.
- However, the use of imitations outside the scope of the Guidelines requires prior permission from the Bank of Korea. Imitations should be manufactured as approved and can be used after confirmation by the Bank of Korea staff in charge. If imitations are no longer used or the period of reproduction expires, the imitations should be destroyed at the Bank of Korea or at a venue designated by the Bank of Korea, in the presence of the Bank of Korea staff.
- The Bank of Korea owns the copyright to the Bank of Korea currency, and unauthorized currency reproduction is prohibited under the Copyright Act. The making, importing, exporting or selling of things similar to Korean currency for the purpose of uttering is subject to punishment pursuant to the Criminal Act.
Guidelines for the Reproduction of Bank of Korea Notes and Coins
The purpose of ‘Guidelines for the Reproduction of Bank of Korea Notes and Coins’ is to set desirable practices for the reproduction of Bank of Korea notes and coins (hereafter "the currency") in order to discourage any attempts at counterfeiting and forgery that may arise from indiscreet reproductions in advertising or illustrations, and to maintain the integrity of the national currency.
‘Reproduction’ shall mean any tangible or intangible image that uses all or part of the currency issued, or to be issued by the Bank of Korea, or parts of its individual design elements, such as color, dimensions and use of letters or symbols, which may resemble or give the general impression of currency, irrespective of:
- the size of the image; or
- the technique(s) or material(s) used to produce it; or
- whether or not elements or illustrations have been added to the image that do not originate from the currency; or
- whether or not the design of the currency, such as letters or symbols, has been altered.
Reproduction shall be permitted only when the following criteria are met. Nonetheless, illustration and electronic reproduction of coins may be allowed in any manner provided that the reproduction meets the following general requirements as specified in D:
- A. Imitations
- “Imitations” refer to prints or reproductions that have the appearance of the currency
- Imitations are permitted only for purposes of education, research, news reporting, or judicial trial.
- The size of imitations must be either at least 200 percent or at most 50 percent of the respective banknote while maintaining that banknote's length-to-width ratio.
Refer to example1
- Imitations shall be manufactured of a material clearly different and distinguishable from the material used for banknotes.
- Imitations of coins shall be manufactured only of such non-metallic materials as paper, fabric and others, and must not be of the same weight as genuine coins.
- B. Printed illustrations
- “Printed illustrations” refer to reproductions placed in printed materials, including books, newspapers and magazines.
- The size of printed illustrations must be either at least 150 percent or at most 75 percent of the respective banknote while maintaining that banknote's length-to-width ratio. This also applies to partial reproductions and individual design elements.
Refer to example2
- Printed illustrations must be one-sided.
- C. Electronic illustrations
- “Electronic illustrations” refer to reproductions placed in electronic media, including online materials and e-books.
- The resolution of an electronic illustration in its original size shall not exceed 72dpi.
- The word "SPECIMEN" or "보기" shall be marked on either the obverse or the reverse of any part, excluding the portrait, of the reproduction and must be plainly distinguishable but inseparable from the reproduction.
Refer to example3
- The size of the word “SPECIMEN” or “보기” shall be larger than the word “Bank of Korea” on the top center of the front side of the banknote, and must be in a non-transparent color being clearly contrasted with the main color of the respective banknote. This also applies to partial reproductions.
Refer to example3
- D. General requirements
- Reproductions are prohibited that might undermine the integrity of the national currency through modifications to them, addition of advertising to them, or their distortion, mutilation.
- Reproductions shall not be used for commercial advertising that may encourage obscenity, violence, extravagance or gambling, or in the advertising of photocopiers and scanners that might be used to counterfeit or forge banknotes.
- All negatives, plates, digitized storage media, and graphic files used in reproducing the currency shall be destroyed and/or deleted after their final use.
Those who wish to reproduce the currency in a way other than those prescribed in Section 3 must make a written application in advance to the Bank of Korea, containing the following information, to obtain prior approval for reproduction. The Bank of Korea may grant the request provided that the request is recognized as complying with the purpose stipulated in Section 1 above. See attached form
- the name(s), national identification number(s)/business registration number(s), and address(es) of the users of the currency design
- purpose of the reproduction and where and how long it will be made use of
- the graphic design and size of the design to be used
- the number of reproductions in the case of imitations
- other details requested by the Bank of Korea when it deems them necessary
The approval of the Bank of Korea specified in Section 4 is valid for 6 months after the date when the approval is sent. A written application for an extension of the term of validity must be made to the Bank of Korea no later than 7 business days prior to the expiry date. In principle, however, extensions shall be granted one time only, and the extension period must not exceed 3 months.
A person who wishes to receive approval for the use of imitations shall ensure that the imitations are larger than the banknote by 5㎜ or more while maintaining the banknote’s length-to-width ratio, and such person must submit them to the Bank of Korea to receive confirmation. In this case, the imitations should be one-sided unless the necessity is exceptionally recognized.
After the use of imitations ends, they shall be destroyed at the Bank of Korea or any other place designated by the Bank of Korea.
The Bank of Korea may give warnings to or call for corrective action to be taken against any reproductions of the currency by ways other than those prescribed in Sections 3 and 4 above. If appropriate measures are not taken after such warnings or request for corrective action, the Bank of Korea may accuse those of civil and criminal liabilities pursuant to the Copyright Act.