Lee Si-jin, Seoul – Kakao Entertainment announced on Monday that it blocked over 15,000 illegally distributed webtoons and shut down major pirate webtoon platforms in Indonesia in 2022.
Webtoons are digital comics that are read by scrolling down one's screen, mainly on readers' smartphones.
Kakao Entertainment's Protecting the Contents of Kakao Entertainment, known as P.Cok for short, Kakao Entertainment's global webtoon division team, said that it reported and blocked the distribution of 15,607 copyright infringement cases involving the service's webtoons. The team also shut down 206 Telegram groups, 13 illegal translation websites and 32 online channels that fund the translation services.
As 63 percent of internet users in Indonesia use pirate content sites there, enhancing public awareness about digital piracy as an unlawful act is just as important as monitoring copyright infringement, according to the company.
P.Cok not only tracked down the illegal websites, but also sent its members to Indonesia to conduct separate interviews with the pirate content sites' operators and users, investigating the unlicensed distribution channels and providing education on illegal content sharing.
Following the ongoing investigations, strict measures against and warnings to such content sites, Chicken Money and other translation organizations announced that they would stop translating Kakao Entertainment's webtoon series.
Batchkun, an online webtoon sharing platform, uploaded an online post to stop users from requesting translations for Kakao Entertainment's webtoon projects as well.
P.Cok, established in 2021, filed a criminal complaint against local pirate webtoon sites as its first task. The team continues to take strict measures against content piracy in the English and Chinese webtoon industries.
"Since the team began monitoring copyright infringement cases in all language services offered by Kakao Entertainment in 2021, it has found almost 9.2 million pieces of illegal webtoon content," the head of Kakao Entertainment's legal department, Lee Ho-jun, said in a press release Monday.
"In addition to P.Cok's current tasks, the team seeks to offer programs aimed at raising webtoon readers' awareness of copyright issues and establish a database that could be used to file criminal complaints against pirated content sites," Lee added.