Following the unfortunate crackdown of their variety shows on video sharing websites like Youtube, Veoh, etc by SBS International back in July 2008, it appears that KBS America and MBC are also starting to lay claim to their variety shows with crackdowns of their own which begun just 3 days ago.
“We Got Married” was licensed recently on Crunchyroll and access to it is now denied. If you notice, it did not specify who the license holder is, probably because it didn’t want to suffer a backlash. According to Youtomb website, standyary who used to upload “We Got Married” on Youtube got her account suspended not too long ago thanks to a copyright claim from MBC.co.kr.
The same goes for KBS variety shows which is being acted on by KBS America, Inc. and has affected htruc who used to upload “1N2D” on Youtube but her account has been suspended three days ago. Better start saving clips from Youtube now just in case it spreads to other users whom I am not naming.
Some have opted to private their videos or rename the videos cryptically, for example “We Got Married” becomes “W.G.M”. I don’t see how it is going to work in the long-term because sooner or later, all it takes is for one video to be spotted by one of their copyright snitchers and the rest is history.
So where does this all lead to? One of my Korean friends told me that tv shows were all free to watch in Korea back in the good ol’ days. Until one day, SBS started charging a fee for their archived shows. KBS and MBC soon followed suit. This crackdown on variety shows is following the same pattern.
There should be no complaints really since it’s their videos and by right the copyright belongs to them. But what are we normal users that don’t live in Korea to do? They don’t sell the variety shows with subtitles and not even the unsubbed ones by any chance. Have you ever heard of anyone selling variety shows like these at all? Dramas are copyrighted because they do sell them with english subs legally but variety shows? There’s KBS World which broadcasts to most of the world including Singapore but not all their variety shows are subtitled. MBC America and SBS Intl. only broadcasts in limited areas.
They could try learning from music companies like YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment or even MNet who uses Youtube as a platform to reach out to the masses. There is a ready platform, why don’t they make use of it?
The landscape has changed drastically in any entertainment industry today. To become a popular star, appearing in variety shows and presenting another side of you will greatly improve your chances. Fans these days wants to know their idols more in terms of what they do, think, etc. Just being able to sing well doesn’t really make you popular. If you think this is just restricted to Korea, think again. Kim Jong Kook is known by someone like me in a far-away country because he appeared in Xman. The same goes for other celebrities.
Taking Seo In Young as an example, she can sing well but she only enjoyed moderate success. But factor in the success of Jewelry’s “One More Time” plus her appearances on “Seo In Young KAIST” reality show and of course “We Got Married” this year, her popularity has grown in leaps and bounds.
Enjoy what’s still left before it’s all gone, people!