Joy and Woe for KBS as Boys Before Flowers Surfaces on Youtube

Not only is KBS Boys Before Flowers highly popular among television viewers in Korea as shown by the high ratings it has obtained, it is the same situation for viewers outside of Korea who are relying on video sharing websites like Youtube.com to be on the same page with their Korean counterparts.

Boys Before Flowers on Youtube

But videos uploaded onto video sharing websites are not authorized in anyway by KBS. KBS and Group Eight have been working with Youtube.com to remove the copyrighted material in terms of picture slideshows and videos pertaining to Boys Before Flowers but are increasingly fighting a losing battle.

If you do a simple search or just view the video rankings, you would have noticed that videos of Boys Before Flowers are simply dominating the charts on Youtube.com. 1 particular cut of episode 10 has yielded an impressive viewcount of 160,004 hits after just 3 days. Similarly, videos of Boys Before Flowers are also dominating the monthly charts in addition to the weekly and daily charts. Many non-korean viewers are highly interested especially in videos that has english subtitles. Other than 1 So Nyeo Shi Dae Gee MV, all other videos belong to Boys Before Flowers showing its immense popularity.

Although KBS and Group Eight have every right to be delighted with the response, they are also worried about the copyright infringement committed by the uploaders which they can do little about. A KBS representative expressed, “We have asked Youtube to take down videos that infringes on our copyright and because its illegal. But there is a limit to the crackdown. For every video that is taken down, 2 – 3 more would be uploaded in its place.”

Some netizens are hoping that the crackdown can be stopped as the videos, some even with fan-made subtitles can go a long way in spreading Korean entertainment and culture to the rest of the world with relative ease.

KBS however expressed that there are legal and normal ways that can be taken to spread Korean culture to other parts of the world. They are not overly concern with the illegal uploads that infringes on the copyright but are highly worried that it paints a wrong picture to the rest of the world in that, Korea does not enforce proper intellectual property laws within the country.

The internet subsidaries of the 3 major Korean tv broadcasters KBSi, iMBC, SBSi have been tasked to work actively with video sharing websites to remove uploaded material deemed to have infringed on their copyright.

71 thoughts on “Joy and Woe for KBS as Boys Before Flowers Surfaces on Youtube

  1. I wish we could find an answer as to how we can watch it legally and subbed, tv is going down the drain and youtube is dominating =(

  2. “They are not overly concern with the illegal uploads that infringes on the copyright but are highly worried that it paints a wrong picture to the rest of the world in that, Korea does not enforce proper intellectual property laws in the country.”

    I smell bullshit.

  3. they just want to make money…korean businesses are so money hungry…there is no stop to copyright infringement…it’s the internet for god’s sake…they should just be grateful people in the US are interested in watching their drama…get over it.

  4. lets spent 1.2 million billion pounds to spread Korean media to every country with fans… or we can restrict access to tv videos for people in Korea and get someone to make an official channel where well known subbers can contribute videos….

    that’s my idea. They restrict people who arent in the US to watch some video so why cant we restrict Korean viewers from that channel so they dont get free tv that they actually have a chance of buying waaaaaaaay cheaper and quicker than us – even if it is expensive in the long run.

    My friend who moved back home to Angola is lucky because she has KBS but when I checked the time schedule it’s pretty out dated to what is showing now… but I may have only looked at a certain time when old shows were airing.

    Otherwise, they should stop being ninnies and make an online website where we can buy credits to watch tv shows subtitled 1-2 days after airing like crunchyroll is doing!!

    Shiri brought me into the light of the K-entertainment world. X-man and Coolsmurf solidified my love, I will not be shunned!!!!!!! ;.; I may have withrawl symptoms man D:

  5. Yea right… Don’t they realize that this is great exposure for Korean culture? If it wasn’t for streaming sites like You Tube, we non-Koreans would not even know what Korean entertainment is all about. We watch ’cause it’s available to us and that’s how we get addicted.

  6. they seriously will do a BIG mistake to take down those vids…how could we non-korean be able to watch it if the subs aren’t there? mannnn

  7. Thank God I have KBS World.
    But still, I depend on YT and subbing teams a like!
    Because of them I’m able to understand the context of the video even with my little knowledge of the Korean Lang.

    OR maybe they should let us have accounts on KBS, MBC and SBS WITHOUT having to use a korean id (which is stupid) so we can watch VOD.

  8. Well good luck to KBS trying to take down those videos because Youtube ain’t the only online streaming sites there are tons its’ just Youtube is the most popular one.

    It’s indeed a losing battle because regardless of KBS removing the videos there is still & will always be a way to upload BBF. You just gotta be smart enough to change the tags & the titles.

  9. if they do not want fans to violate the copyright law, then they should stream the episodes for FREE like what US tv stations’ sites are doing. they let the fans watch streaming videos of past episodes for free…the reason why some are infringing copyright it is because one must pay to simply watch an episode…and they even ask people to register just to access their videos. unlike in the US, anyone can watch the videos of past episodes of the current season aired but one must register to join the forum for a certain show. if they will do how the US tv stations are doing, i doubt there would be uploads at youtube.

  10. If they really want int’l viewers to use legal methods of watching korean tv, then they should be able to sub and release episodes with subtitles as fast as fansubbers do.
    Which, of course, is practically impossible…sigh, i hate this…

  11. I will be the first one to stand in line to buy this Drama. I love Boys Before Flower. As long as :
    1 SUBTITLE IN ENGLISH not ENGRISH! Please.
    2 out as fast as the one uploaded via the net.
    3 it’s impossible right? that’s why lead to number 4
    4 KBS stop being a donkey for trying to track and take down those goodies. One big Donkey ass (MBC) is enuff already.
    go back to be the cool KBS, that we Love!!!

  12. They can get so much exposure this way. The best way for them to do this is to create their own YouTube page with OFFICIAL subtitles of different languages. Or to simple allow it and only persecute those who get money in exchange for selling the videos or subs.

  13. Don’t hate on KBS- it’s only reasonable for them to want to take the videos down as they lose a lot of money from that. I think they should really consider either making their own youtube account (as a partner) and uploading the videos on their own (with subtitles), or do the same on a different site of their own. That’d be the most realistic and reasonable thing to do.

  14. I understand where they are coming from, but it’s frustrating for international viewers. I wish they would find a halfway point, so both sides could be happy. Unfortunately, they probably won’t do that.

    To them, the “safe and legal” way for outsiders to watch this show is to wait three-hundred million years for a DVD release with shoddy subtitles that costs an arm and a leg.

  15. and just yesterday around 5 very active uploaders got suspended!!!!!

    youtube is really cracking down on uploaders alright!

  16. I understand their concerns on copyright but it is time they get with the program.

    Even US companies have started to turn in offering free streaming of their tv shows. The benefits from more exposure FAR outweigh any downsides. The best course of action is to monetize at the point where people want to watch their favorite shows, not continuously try to control and funnel people into specific ways of distribution.

  17. I’d say we start a cult. KBS doesn’t want to lose money because some korean people actually search up korean shows to watch instead of doing it on TV and so they’re losing potential money. If we start a cult of just non-Korean speakers and spread our fansub videos in just one community, KBS won’t lose -much- money.

    Secret organization. Lol.

  18. the way i see it, KBS has two options…
    fight the losing battle
    or
    pay the fansubbers to make their subs legal… that way, fansubbers aren’t infringing any copyrights.

  19. Why can’t they create their own KBS account/channel on youtube and release official version there? (well, as long as they do it fast, like with in 1 hr)

    I think a lot of major media, TVB/J2 from Hong Kong has done that. So does CNN etc.

  20. I can understand why they want to remove the videos, but seriously.. they themselves know that it is only making their drama better as the love for Korean entertainment is spreading. If they are that desperate, then they should contact those who have subbed the dramas and make a deal that only one person can upload the subbed episodes without worrying about their goods being removed. They can’t really expect every fan to go out and buy the DVD since not everyone is that rich (heck, most of us are students), and there are a lot of places in this world that does not sell Korean dramas.

  21. “OR maybe they should let us have accounts on KBS, MBC and SBS WITHOUT having to use a korean id (which is stupid) so we can watch VOD.”

    I agree with you VALXD.

    They make it hard for us to register and then complain when they think they are not making any money out of the online viewers.

  22. if we really like the show after watching it in the Internet, we can buy it and feeling more worth it. Rather then spending $50+++ on one drama that is not to your liking. Also, why should they be afraid about people watching it on the net? they should feel proud that many people from different countries watching their show, not only that it can help to increase the fame of the star too-people will tend to look out for them more,and even support their personal cds. isnt that great?!!??!! ^^

  23. please nooooooooo.
    i don’t want youtube to be like crunchyroll.
    almost everything is being licensed and that defeats the purpose of video-sharing websites. even some of we got married vids on youtube are also affected cos of this copyright infringement thing. i understand that they’re frustrated about copyright infringement policy thing. but it’s good thing that these people who make subs available attract us to korean culture and i thank them for their efforts in translation and so on. it’s convenient for international viewers esp those who live in countries where korean cds and dvds are limited and thus relying on blogshops just to get access to these cds and dvds.

  24. kbs should make their official channel in youtube..
    upload the dramas with sub..
    then there will be no prob

    fans who don’t understand korean n live outside korea also wanna watch kdramas… kbs should consider that..

    grrr….

  25. I agree with nataly, I don’t even really watch tv here in the US, & if I want to follow a show here, I can just catch up on episodes on its network internet station, which is LEGAL & FREE!

    People don’t have time to wait for their favorite show that only comes on once a week, which is why past episodes are so readily available on the web for free. I hope KBS takes a lesson from this. Paying the subbers is a good idea too!

  26. i notice that the F4 have all tall noses.i hope they didnt undergo plastic nose jobs.for kim bum, im sure its natural, i dont know the others.while they are on top, they shld be clever with their earnings so that by the time they fall, the are already well established.i hope their popularity dont go to their heads because that is the most common cause of downfall.

  27. They need to make their content available to foreigners by download and then charge by like yearly or by shows downloaded. They’d make a ton of money this way, and then they’d have a much more manageable time on the video sharing websites.

  28. as long as the subber still upload in veoh i will not be bothered .. its better to watch it in veoh because not only its full length but i can also dl it .. youtube sucks if you had a slow internet connection like mine … GOODLUCK to KBS if ever they could stop uploaders because i think that as long as one is addicted and a fan … nobody can stop it because they love doing it that is what fansubbing is all about and I am really grateful to them …

  29. that’s why you shouldn’t upload them on streaming sites… just download and watch it w/ soft subs…

  30. arghhh….~ this is annoying news for the korean-outsider && non-korean !!!! i might die of being bored not to watch those dramas n all the related things about korean intertainment….!!!

    hope this will not end up with a bad result for all the viewers…….if not this is really heartbreaking !!!!!!!

  31. Kbs definitely has the right to do that. youtube may be one of the available streaming site to watch it with eng sub but is not the only source to watch bbf with eng subtitle. u can always download the raw videos and watch it with softsub. for those who really love this drama will have no problem dedicating their time to download it. but for those who give excuses like slow internet connection should just stop watching it unless it’s being uploaded on youtube.

  32. ^Umm i think you’ve missed the point. The problem is they don’t wand non koreans watching the show illegally, which includes downloading raws and subtitles. First they’ll stop yt, then other streaming sites and then probably complain about fansubs being available.

    I wish their was a legal (and preferably cheap) way to watch BOF. *sigh*

  33. good god—don’t bite the hand that feeds u!!!!! i understand the distress but OBVIOUSLY from the ranking of BOF on youtube—ppl are interested in watching the show. it’s illegal but is it wicked for me to hope they fail miserably at their attempts? lol—because i’m not gonna stop loving BOF subbers because they’re breaking the law

  34. KBS must be out of their mind.They don’t realize how much they are helping their country in spreading their movie/drama industry. I would have never known that a cute and very talented Korean actor named Lee Min Ho exists if not from the internet.Most people who watch on line also buys the video if they like it for souveneers.I, myself bought about 30 videos for my collection and surely when BBF video becomes available, I will buy it.KBS be reasonable and be glad that a lot of people outside Korea loves your drama. Maybe their government especially Dept. of Tourism and Motion Picture industry should step in and bring sense to KBS. They should worry if we lost our interest and go back watching American Idol ,Dancing With The Stars and Lost instead. Fans check this out.

  35. there’s a simple solution kbs… a revenue share youtube page, where you can upload english subtitled material.

    c’mon… wondergirls are doing it… the vatican is doing it…

  36. oh YEAH RIGHT!!!!
    SO what they gonna do ?
    i understand their concern of protecting their rights
    but if they still gonna relentlessly chase after & suspend every single account for the uploads
    sooner or later,no one will bother to care to see their programmes
    did i also heard the korean government is also investing in the hallyu wave & inject efforts to support tourism in korea…?
    to create interest in korea, the first point of interaction is through korean entertainment…when people are interested in korea, they buy in korea,shop in korea,spread korea love all around …isn’t that so much better, beneficial for them rather then just suspend all pro-korea efforts ? f

    so the best solution???
    PROVIDE ENGLISH SUBS !!!
    they seriously have nothing to lose …

  37. I guess KBS is worried that BOF on KBSWORLD won’t be a hit since it’s already been spaned on the web with many non-koreans… I guess no one would be interested to watch BOF on kbsworld where they are very late at airing

  38. I checked out the MBC America website and although they do have some subbed seires on DVD, they are selling them for 80$ us plus tax and shipping! I also found out that they have a unsubbed channel on satellite which is probably one of their reasons for the copyright so we have to buy the channel. So I wrote to them 2 weeks ago asking them to explain how I’m suppose to understand the series even if I buy the channel and how I can have access to it since it is only available in a limited area mostly in the states. I live in Montreal and don’t have access. Still waiting for a response of course…

  39. i have kbs world & would definitely watch it again even though i’ve seen it on youtube. i would buy the official dvd if the rest of the drama is as good as the eps aired so far.

  40. Thanks for translating, Alvin!

    @anoasdf: “I smell bullshit.”
    Agreed.

    @gnxc: “They need to make their content available to foreigners by download and then charge by like yearly or by shows downloaded. They’d make a ton of money this way, and then they’d have a much more manageable time on the video sharing websites.”
    Yup. And they could make their streams more user-friendly to non-Windows users, free, and in high quality (HD). Obviously, they would have ads in the videos, but it’s a small price to pay for the viewers. I really think Korean broadcasting/network companies would benefit learning from their American counterparts like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc.

    Or KBS/et. all could allow legal English-subbed video sites like Dramafever to license the drama…

  41. I heard that KBS world will be showing BBF mid Feb. after You Are My Destiny is finish in the east coast. I will watch it again of course. It is a 30 minute episode show M-F that airs from 9:30 to 10:00 PM in the tri state area. Just hope that their crackdown will not be effective till after BBF series is done and after that I don’t care anymore. My life will be back to normalcy until LMH will have a new project.

  42. Pingback: Boys Before Flowers - Episode 10: The Aftermath « Just Nonsense Really

  43. KBS please dont take away my BBF…I mean they cant really…the net is pretty much people power….there really is no way to stop them……hehehehehe they should be happy that their drama is soooo popular!

  44. Ahh. This was bound to come.
    STill. I’m not ready! T__T
    I understand that they feel this way.
    Since they know about there popularity among NON Koreans, than they should have like a sight which streams the videos when they come out. with SUBS. [or is that tooo MUCH?]
    Like NBC. THey stream some of their videos online. Like Heros, etc.
    They can’t just cut us out T__T [well.. they can. but that wouldn't be nice.]
    *sigh*
    Breaking rules are just no fun. ? lol.

  45. KBS!!! That is bullshit! You just wanna keep the whole thing till you have it completed, then sell the drama on DVD for lots and lots of money… evil, money-sucking TV stations…

    I vote to stop the crackdown. We all wanna see subbed versions of BBF at least the same week as it was released in Korea :P

  46. …they should be cracking down on those who sell pirated copies of their dramas but with so much people doing that I believe they are at the losing end anyway…they should just be happy they are being known for free and that real fans will eventually shell out the money for the legal copies when they’re out…meantime let’s enjoy watching Boys Over Flowers while it lasts. The hell with everyone!

  47. Gosh… not another crunchyroll to be. i’m already totally upset abt crunchyroll… and, THANK GOD I HAVE KBS WORLD as well… but, i dun catch it every single time. i also depend on YT’s subs version. crap. i better quickly go and watch finish like, all the remaining eps that i ahve not caught up with… !!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Yah!! KBS again, last time KBS dont like Seung Ri “crack” Strong baby, now this? Yah, why KBS!!

    PFSGH KBS, but they did air BOYS BEFORE FLOWER on Sunday around 12:10 p.m until 2.10 p.m and yes English subs as well.

  49. no, i disagree.. i dont like it to be remove from youtube coz many our nationalities are also waiting and longing for that show.. i am also the one! i just suggest that they should have their own website to be used of the our nationality viewers so that it will not be illegal in your part.. i hope it will be heard.. so that it will not be so hard on the part of the others..hehe!

  50. Would be good if the company publicity their owns subs in a page, that’ll be legal and they’ll earn money!^^

  51. if you cant understand it, dont watch it
    simple as that

    the subs arent even accurate anyway and annoying to those who actually know korean…

  52. well, for thoase who don’t have KBS, i don’t think you should worry, because many non-korean sends mail to them everyday because of this, and people gets angry because of KBS, bu i don’t think you should worry too much XD

  53. you can watch this show by owning a satellite dish. i just wish that we can watch past episodes on-line . i am not korean but love to watch the shows on kbs. the english writing really helps.

  54. I understand the views from both sides of the argument; I myself am a non-Korean, so I heavily depend on the Eng. subs to understand anything.

    Many people above make an excellent point, discussing how American TV stations are making their episodes available for free online. C’on, American = capitalists. If they can offer episodes online for free (though, for a limited amount of time only, like several weeks or months) and still make money (through online ads embedded into the streams), so can the Korean TV stations.

    headsmack makes a good point; trying to stop this online ‘illegal’ distribution will only drive people into the ‘virtual underground market’. People are going to find a way, regardless of the blocking methods. :X

    On the other side, KBS does have an English-friendly channel, called KBS World, which offer Eng. subs and is available on cable. KBS World also broadcast ‘Boys Before Flowers’ episodes (with Eng. subs), but a about month behind. xD I guess this is the legal way they mentioned in the article; however, most fans want instant gratifications. Non-Korean fans will want subs as quickly as possible, and with so many fansubbing activities going on online, a new episode is subbed within the week it’s released.

    If KBS World can do this, I guess we won’t have a problem, eh?

    Either way, I can’t really see a point upon which both sides can agree. =X I’m not sure if there is a clear, and ‘fair’ solution to this virtual problem. =/

    The Internet is one of the biggest thing that’s ever happened, and with it comes many, many legal/copyright issues which have never been dealt by artists/companies.

  55. i know one that’s “legal” so to speak. try dramafever.com. there’s one major drawback though – the streaming is only available to users in the United States.

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