SEOUL, July 11, 2023 – Kakao Entertainment today announces the release of its third whitepaper on content piracy, demonstrating continued leadership on one of the most pressing issues facing the creative content industry around the world. The whitepaper was developed by a team formed by Kakao Entertainment called P.CoK – the first such dedicated team in the industry to address the issue of webtoon and web novel piracy globally – and details the team’s systematic efforts over the past six months.
Titled “Countermeasures Against Illegal Content Distribution,” the 76-page whitepaper was published on the website of the Copyright Overseas Promotion Association in Korea. It details how P.CoK blocked a total of 14.2 million illegal webtoons and web novels on global search sites and social media platforms from November 2022 to May 2023. This marks a 112% increase from 6.67 million instances in the second whitepaper, which detailed the team’s efforts during the period running from April to November 2022. Extrapolating from its successful campaign, P.CoK projects it will block approximately 28 million instances of illegal content in 2023.
This success is due in large measure to the company’s 3-year concerted effort to construct both a powerful global database of illegal sites and communities, and a proprietary blocking technology. After launching P.CoK (which stands for Protecting the Contents of Kakao Entertainment) in 2021, Kakao Entertainment has worked tirelessly and preemptively to amass and utilize the industry’s top talent and expertise to develop all the tools needed for prevention, rapid tracking, and blocking of illegal content distribution, which causes substantial damage to every individual and corporate entity working in the content development chain.
P.CoK also expanded its scope over the last six months to include efforts to stamp out unauthorized secondary piracy of Kakao Entertainment’s intellectual property, such as illegal character merchandise and printed materials. The company halted sales of t-shirts featuring popular characters used without permission and removed illegal web novel publications being sold on Amazon. The team also conducted ongoing and comprehensive monitoring to safeguard Kakao Entertainment’s intellectual property on both unauthorized and official platforms, ensuring seamless copyright protection for webtoons and web novels that serve as highly valuable seed content across a variety of genres.
P.CoK continues to work tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of improving copyright protections, identifying this as an essential tool for stamping out illegal content distribution. In January, P.CoK members travelled to Indonesia and engaged in outreach with several players in the illegal content distribution industry there. In one case, an illegal site operator pledged that his organization would “halt the unauthorized translation of Kakao Webtoon content on the platform and advocate for content consumption from authorized sites only.”
Additionally, the team held an offline training program aimed at raising awareness and eradicating illicit content distribution during the launch of Kakao Webtoon’s Indonesia Brand Supporters in March 2023. Twenty-five brand supporters began a two-month journey to raise awareness to the issue and help eradicate illegal practices, culminating in over 600 copyright awareness content uploads. P.CoK has also led the way in the legal realm in a variety of cases globally, successfully utilizing its momentum to bring criminal charges against the operators of “Booktoki,” and other illegal sites, while also increasing copyright awareness globally.
“We will not rest in our mission to protect the rights of content creators until we have completely eradicated illegal content distribution,” said a Kakao Entertainment Representative. “We will continue to update the industry on our progress with new whitepapers that share how our industry expertise and sophisticated tools are working to enhance our enforcement system and protect the creative marketplace.”
*Please check out the English summary of P.CoK’s third Whitepaper here.