On May 8, South Korea's supreme court published the results of their latest court decision - involving Big Hit Entertainment's lawsuit against various companies selling unauthorized, "fake" photo goods of BTS - via the court's official website.
As of May 8, the supreme court has declared that selling "fake" photo goods of BTS is a violation of the supreme law. Not only that, but the supreme court has also added the result of this particular court case as a referential case in their law system, meaning that any criminal cases from here on involving "Unlawful sale of stolen or plagiarized content belonging to certain individuals" will follow the decision made in Big Hit Entertainment's recent case, as highlighted under "Laws placed for the protection of business secrets and for the prevention of business misdemeanors".
Back in 2018, Big Hit Entertainment began their lawsuit against certain companies selling "fake" BTS photobooks, without consent to use the members' images. Between 2018 and 2019, the agency faced these companies through an initial trial, as well as a second appeal trial. Then, back in March of this year, the case was forwarded to the supreme court, as Big Hit Entertainment continued to pursue stricter protection of their artists' rights.
Unlike the United States, South Korea did not have clear laws in place specifically protecting celebrities' photos, names, images, etc from being used without permission until now. As a result, unlawful sale of "fake" goods of celebrities has been rampant for years; however, it seems that after the supreme court's latest decision, more entertainment companies will be able to speak out against such misconduct.
Furthermore, Big Hit Entertainment is known to have filed another lawsuit also involving companies selling unauthorized BTS goods in April of this year, demonstrating their resolve to continue protecting the rights of their artists actively and efficiently.
Regarding the above, Big Hit Entertainment told the press in a statement, "The supreme court's recent decision has opened up a legal method for artists to protect their knowledge and identities as property; so moving forward, we will continue to pursue the strictest form of punishment for any unlawful actions which violate our artists' rights."