As of Dec. 1, seven Korean broadcasting companies have shut down their YouTube channels for South Korean viewers due to their concern over financial matters. The companies involved are SBS, MBC, CJ E&M, JTBC, Channel A, MBN and TV Chosun. Instead of the actual video, the channels display the sign “This service is no longer available in your area” if a user views his or her videos from Korea.
According to Chosun Ilbo, the seven broadcasting companies have already cooperated with representatives of YouTube and Google. However, YouTube has asserted that they have offered an equal ratio of payment to all companies. There are many rumors as to why the local service ban has been proposed, one of them being that these broadcasting companies oppose YouTube’s dominance in the media. Although the rumor was not confirmed, the seven broadcasting companies have all revealed their interests to publish all or most of their materials on Korean websites, such as Naver or Daum.
“I still don’t and can’t really understand what the purpose behind this system is,” Matthew Shin (11) said. “Do [the companies]really think someone outside of Korea will not repost the same thing? Not only do I think that this system is not a good solution to whatever problem those companies were having, but also I think that it’s making people even more annoyed that they cannot see [the videos]they want to see.”
There has been a growing debate about the legitimacy of this problem. Even with the ban of videos directly posted by broadcasting companies, there are still numerous ways in which Koreans would be able to view the same exact material posted by a different user account. Since Koreans are not being banned from YouTube itself, any reposts of the video can be available on YouTube.