Despite “hallyu ban” in China, South Korean actor Gong Yoo is getting popular. He is gaining huge popularity as the pirated version of South Korean drama “Goblin” is being circulated in China.
However, the dramas “Goblin” and “Gong Yoo” cannot officially get into China due to China’s retaliation against South Korea over the deployment of the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. The same case is “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” a South Korean television series starring Hallyu stars Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho. The South Korean government sent 19 warning letters to 20 Chinese video-sharing websites which illegally distributed “Goblin” and “The Legend of the Blue Sea” without paying a fair price to a copyright holder and thus the URL of 42 illegal websites were deleted. Studio Dragon, a subsidiary of CJ E&M, South Korea's entertainment and media major, owns the copyright on the two dramas.
Industry sources say that South Korea needs to implement stricter restrictions as China’s infringement of copyright on domestic contents is getting more serious. Currently, China has an ambivalent attitude that it illegally uses South Korean contents while refusing to import them on the pretext of the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea. However, the Korean government cannot even calculate the extent of damage caused by China’s infringement of copyright.
According to the data of “Overseas Copyright Infringement Countermeasures Results” from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of Korea on March 21, the number of countermeasures taken by domestic private and public companies against China’s copyright infringements rapidly increased by 4.4 times in a year.
The figure grew from 14,558 in 2015 to 64,355 last year. It was the sum of the cases of remedial measures, which included sending a warning letter, preservation of evidence and elimination of illegal URLs, taken by the MCST through the Beijing copyright center of the Korea Copyright Commission and the number of domestic broadcasters’ direct request to Chinese websites for deleting URLs which illegally distributed domestic contents.
The dominant view is that about 60,000 cases of remedial measures last year is the tip of an iceberg when considering the total number of infringements unrevealed yet. So, the South Korean government need to more thoroughly response to the infringement of domestic contents’ copyrights.
Currently, the government is dealing with China’s copyright infringements through a Korea-China hot line for broadcasting content copyright infringement which was established in November 2015. After the hot line was built, the time required to delete offending URLs has reduced from 11 days to 1 day. The hot line is taken part in nine South Korean broadcasters, such as KBS, MBC, SBS and CJ E&M, and seven Chinese online video service providers, including Baidu, Youku Tudou and iQiyi. The South Korean broadcasters directly ask to eliminate URLs of Chinese websites which illegally provide pirated contents.