Cutting-Edge Forms of Theft, Illegal Streaming
Cutting-Edge Forms of Theft, Illegal Streaming
  • Reporter Kim Yu-jin
  • 승인 2023.04.17 19:25
  • 댓글 0
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▲Global streaming services land in Korea (Apirl 2022) / Korea Joongang Daily
▲Global streaming services land in Korea (Apirl 2022) / Korea Joongang Daily


 Ever since the pandemic, over-the-top media services (OTT) have been an inseparable part of our life. This phenomenon led to not only a boom in the industry but also global recognition and exports of Korean content (K-
 But this hype seems to have inspired some wrong people. Both Korean and global OTT have been pulling their hair out over an illegal streaming website. Estimated 10 million users each month and a total of over 1.8 billion views, the site has illegally distributed many contents on their site, including many popular K-Content. Considering that domestic OTT platforms’ monthly active user (MAU) is 4 million, its user is more than twice in size. The estimated loss of the OTT companies adds up to at least 4.9 trillion KRW.
 The site has gone viral recently, ironically due to the release of the popular Netflix series, The Glory. The frequent search of the site has led people to mistake the site as an official, legal distributer of the contents. The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) has publicized the investigation to raise awareness of using illegal streaming sites and inform people that by using the site, they are violating copyright laws. Many countermeasures including the organization of a consultative group and proposal of a bill were made. And just recently, on March 23, the site announced their surrender claiming that they acknowledge their wrongdoings and damage they’ve caused to the Korean media contents industry.
 But the fundamental reasons for the situation doesn’t seem to be problems that can be solved overnight. For one, the need for adjustment of copyright laws that reflects the change in media culture can be an example. The current copyright law’s subject of punishment is limited to downloaded contents. This is not at all up to date with the current streaming-centered media trend. 
 And last but not least, people need to recognize the importance of copyright. This is the most powerful yet easy solution we can take into action right away in our everyday lives. Copyright contributes to the virtuous cycle that grows K-Content’s competitiveness in the industry. When we consume the contents legally so that the production companies earn rightful income, new contents of higher qualities are made. This circulation is what made the K-Content we see today. People need to realize this and take responsibility not just as a conscientious consumer but as a contributor of this circulation.