50 Adult Studios Sue 10,000 S. Koreans Over Alleged Piracy

SEOUL — A group of 50 U.S. and Japanese adult entertainment studios have filed a consolidated copyright suit against 10,000 South Korean individuals who have been identified as “heavy uploaders” of porn.

Authorities announced Thursday that the 50 porn producers in two countries also filed suit against 80 online adult companies that are “abetting or neglecting to supervise such illicit distribution." Those targeted file-sharing sites are ones that charge subscription fees.

The 50 adult companies have hired a U.S. law firm to help adjudicate the matter in Korea, which recently revised copyright laws on July 23. At post time, it was unclear which law firm was involved in the suit.

In a complaint filed with police, the law firm said Korean file-sharing sites could threaten popular opinion of the country. “If this continues, Korea's credibility will be damaged,'' it said.

The suit also said the massive copyright case could help raise public awareness of the importance of copyright and how frequently piracy has been committed in the country.

The 50 companies submitted to a court a letter issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, stating that copyright of porn movies should be protected regardless of its business legitimacy. The Korea Copyright Commission also backs the idea.

The suit added that the law firm had sorted out nearly 100,000 IP addresses used to download their content. Underage users would be excluded from the lawsuit.