In a long-awaited move, the curtain has finally closed on ‘Nunu TV’, a piracy site notorious for streaming copyrighted content online, including Korean dramas, movies, and other OTT (online video streaming service) content. After years of dodging government crackdowns and domain changes, the site announced its official closure on April 14th, 2023.
According to a statement released by the site, the decision to shut down was made due to “uncontrollable traffic cost issues and site pressure,” and the shutdown is set to take place from midnight on the same day. The statement also urged users to be wary of any fraudulent sites that may spring up in the wake of the closure.
Nunu TV, which started its service in 2021, reportedly operated from the Dominican Republic and generated revenue through ads. It had been accused of infringing on copyright laws and causing significant financial damage to content creators, including OTT and broadcasting companies, as well as movie and drama producers. The illegal site was estimated to have had a staggering 83 million visitors in total.
In recent times, public criticism against the site grew louder, leading to increased pressure from the South Korean government. The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Information Communications actively blocked its URL every day, and the National Assembly introduced a revised version of the Information and Communication Network Act, which further tightened the regulation of online content providers.
The Korea Copyright Commission estimated that the total losses suffered by the Korean broadcasting industry due to piracy, including Nunu TV, amounted to approximately KRW 4.9 trillion ($4.1 billion). Furthermore, evidence obtained by the office of Representative Park Wan-ju of the Science, Technology, Information, Broadcasting and Communications Committee revealed that Nunu TV had been running illegal gambling ads on their streaming platform, possibly earning them profits of over KRW 33.3 billion ($28 million).
Representative Park called for strong sanctions against the site and urged the government to take further measures to eliminate illegal streaming sites like Nunu TV that posed a significant threat to Korea’s OTT industry.
While the closure of Nunu TV marks a significant victory for copyright protection in South Korea, the fight against online piracy continues, with many other illegal streaming sites still in operation. However, the government’s efforts to strengthen its legal framework for online content providers and to enforce stricter regulations suggest that Korea is committed to combating piracy and supporting its creative industry.