Culture ministry closes down 12 illegal websites to protect copyrighted contents

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-07-10 16:22 Updated : 2018-07-10 16:22
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[This image shows a screenshot taken from Bamtokki, an illegal contents-sharing website. ]

SEOUL -- The South Korean government has closed down a dozen websites for uploading subscribed cartoons and films for free with their servers based in overseas countries to make huge illegal profits by inserting explicit advertisements.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism formed a task force team with police and other state watchdogs in May to crack down on illegal websites, which have lured users with paid contents such as web cartoons and movies. 

Moon Yong-ho, a director general at the culture ministry's copyright bureau, told reporters Tuesday that the task force team has shut down 12 websites, including "Bamtokki", a major illegal web cartoon service.

Along with a steady crackdown, Moon said the government would take legal action against the operators of eight illegal websites. He called for coordinated efforts among related organizations as well as public support.

Subscribed web cartoon service officials have demanded a strong government crackdown, saying illegal websites are a serious problem as teenagers get access to explicit adults-only materials without any restrictions.