Recently, there has been an increased controversy over SM Entertainment's plagiarism.
The first speculations of plagiarism started when SM Entertainment began releasing teaser images of their new girl group aespa. Netizens pointed out that they have seen work that was similar to the teasers and a Canadian photographer joked that aespa's teaser photos are too close to the photos he took last year.
Since then, there have been more instances in which netizens have stated that it seems aespa's art team has plagiarized other works. One virtual artist even claimed that SM Entertainment copied his work.
One netizen recently posted on an online community that a fan from overseas discovered a Pinterest account that seems to belong to an SM Entertainment employee.
The Pinterest account had various pinned folders that showed various photos of various concepts. The folders were named "Rookie group," "TAEMIN," and "KAI" as netizens claimed that these were reference photos for the artists at SM.
In one of the folders, netizens have discovered the photo of the Canadian photographer who first pointed out that aespa's teaser photo resembles his work.
SM has continuously been involved in plagiarism controversies as netizens have uncovered various similar photos to the teaser photos released from the company. Previously, netizens have stated that NCT's second album teaser also was plagiarized from Sunnei's pictorials.