South Korea to Escalate Fight Against Piracy in 2019

By Bill Toulas / January 14, 2019

The government of South Korea has already showcased their take on piracy during 2018, arresting many pirate site owners and seizing the operation of tens of illegal content distribution portals. Entering 2019, the country is looking to intensify the battle against pirates, establishing a special response center that will enable them to identify copyright infringing domains and block them immediately.

South Korea has always been a pirate’s lair, as its exceptional internet speeds and advanced internet infrastructure allows for the easier sharing of files between users. This has increased piracy rates to levels that are higher than average, and so the government had to do something to mitigate them. In this context and ongoing battle, the Korea Communications Standards Commission has announced the launching of a special unit called “Copyright Infringement Response Team” (CIRT) which will target piracy domains with immediate blocking action.

Korean authorities state that site blocking has had a measurably positive impact on the piracy rates in the country, with a total of 2338 domain blocks since 2014 leading to indicative piracy decline rates of up to 90% three months after the imposing of the blocking action. While these blocks were conducted in “waves”, with careful target planning and evaluation, the CIRT will work very differently by monitoring websites, evaluating reports round the clock, and having full jurisdiction to impose blocks without the need for engaging any other entities in the process.

CIRT’s “rapid and decisive response to copyright holders notices will be carried out in just four days, addressing not only the main site that is confirmed to be associated with piracy but also its mirrors and proxies. As CIRT will continue to monitor the blocked domains, their operators will be discouraged to seek further overriding solutions, as those will not have to be reported again in order to get blocked. Theoretically, this will take the fight against piracy to the next level, literally wiping out all websites that offer copyright infringing content to their visitors.

CIRT will also collaborate with the corresponding authorities of other countries, so as to impose blocks on domains that are out of the country’s ISPs’ reach. The launching of the service is expected to be accompanied by a surge of reports submitted by copyright owners, so a dynamic first wave is bound to take place, wheres CIRT will then enter their “monitoring” mode, tracking all that is going on in South Korea’s “peer to peer” online world.

Do you believe that the above signifies the beginning of the end of piracy in South Korea? Let us know in the comments below, and also share your thoughts on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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