South Korea, US Homeland Security Shut Down Website That Made $261,000 Illegally Selling Korean Web Novels

A big illegal website that shared Korean web novels was closed down on December 19, 2023.

South Korea, US Homeland Security Shut Down Website That Made $261,000 Illegally Selling Korean Web Novels

SUMMARY

  • On December 19, 2023, a large illegal website that shared Korean web novels got shut down.
  • The unnamed website shared 27,000 Korean web novels illegally and earned around $261,000 (340 million won) from ads.
  • This shows that South Korea is determined to protect its fast-growing art forms.
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A big illegal website that shared Korean web novels was closed down on December 19, 2023. South Korea’s Copyright Crime Scientific Investigation Team and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security worked together to stop it.

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Even though the site was in Korea, it used servers in other countries, making it hard to find. But with help from Homeland Security, they traced the IP addresses of the users and caught the owner in Korea.

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The website, whose name wasn’t shared, was responsible for sharing 27,000 Korean web novels illegally and making about $261,000 (340 million won) from ads.

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South Korea Shut Down The Largest Website For Pirated Web Novels

The biggest web novel piracy website in South Korea was closed down on December 19, 2023, according to the Korean newspaper Hankyung. The owner’s house was searched, and around 27,000 illegally hosted web novels were seized.

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Solo Leveling anime

The shutdown resulted from a joint operation between the American Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s Copyright Commission.

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The unnamed site had roughly 21.7 million users this year and made about $260,000 from advertisements. The DHS was involved because the site had a server abroad. The joint effort traced the site to Korea, where it posed as a review website, tricking users into accessing download links.

Also Read: My Hero Academia Character’s Name Gets Censored Completely Because of How Inappropriate the Translation is

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A Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism official warned that even if servers are overseas, Koreans can be punished under domestic law.

We will continue to work hard to investigate so that the rapidly growing web novel and webtoon industry does not suffer from illegal distribution of works.”

Both site operators and users can face consequences for copyright violations. The ministry pledged to continue investigating to protect the web novel and webtoon industry from illegal distribution.

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Kakao Entertainment Takes Down Major Manga Piracy Operation

Kakao Entertainment found and reported the people running the biggest manga and webtoon piracy site called ‘M.’ This site was causing a loss of around $2.2 billion each month to the industry.

The arrest of these pirates happened shortly after KBS revealed this information. This action shows that South Korea is committed to protecting its rapidly growing art forms.

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Kakao Entertainment

Popular stories like Solo Leveling and A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special are gaining attention, but it’s not just anime that’s popular. Live-action titles like Daily Dose of Sunshine, Perfect Marriage Revenge, and Moving are also becoming hits.

Also Read: Solo Leveling Confirms Release Date as Latest Trailer Gears Up Fans for Sung Jinwoo’s Anime Debut

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For example, Moving gained millions of hours of viewership soon after its release, similar to popular Western titles. This crackdown on piracy indicates a serious effort to safeguard one of the world’s fastest-growing art mediums.

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Written by Tanmay Jha

Tanmay writes about anime for FandomWire. He's currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a passion for animation and graphics, he has authored over 240 articles on anime, sharing insights and reviews with fellow fans, seamlessly combining his love for animation with journalism.