Issues surrounding idol fansites resurfaced as the new copyright bill from congress includes a proposal that would ban filming live performances.
Democratic Party's representative Kim Hong Gul proposed an amendment to the existing copyright laws on December 11th. If the bill passes, live performances would obtain copyright protection with penalties of up to a year of imprisonment or punitive damage of 10 million KRW (~ USD 9,000).
K-Pop idol fansites have been an issue of the industry since the very beginning. Labels have been hesitant to sanction fansites because they are also fans of their artists, although they oftentimes infringe upon artists' copyrights and elicit complaints from other fans as they block their view at concerts or events. In most cases, however, fansites work to mutual advantage as they generate free publicity for their artists.
An insider confided, "We are more than happy to let anyone upload any fan cam of our artists at free concerts or events. Their videos help promote our artists. The tricky part is when those fansites are at paid concerts. We are really in a bind so most of the time we just turn a blind eye to fan cams on YouTube. I feel like added protection won't harm."
Another insider shared, "We can't ignore positive effects of fansites. But in a long term, copyright infringement by posting unauthorized recordings should be addressed."