Case Study: Haesin Young

How Haesin used Onsist’s Anti Piracy Protection to clean the web of infringements

Introduction to the Case:

Online piracy is a topic that is well known under webtoon and manhwa writers. One could pick a random webtoon name from platform Lezhin Entertainment, drop it in Google and find hundreds of sites that are illegally offering it for free.

According to an article written by Kim Morrissy (2021), online piracy is causing several problems for writers. The first problem being that it is costing writers such as Haesin their income. It is estimated that some writers lose up to 70% of their revenue to online webtoon and manhwa piracy.

The second problem goes a bit deeper: motivation and fun. According to Kim Morrissy (2021), 92% of questioned webtoon writers said that digital piracy has made it harder for them to pick up the pen and start writing new comics. 45% of these artists even mentioned that they’re willing to leave the industry behind all together.

Haesin is the writer and creator of the successful webtoon “Pian Pian”. They sell their content on the popular Korean webtoon platform Lezhin Entertainment: a place for indie writers to publish their work.

When Haesin came to us, their webtoon was widely available on the internet. Google was filled with links leading to illegal copies of “Pian Pian”, that were freely available. There was a lot of progress to be made.

Haesin's Official Platforms:

These are the official (social) channels of Haesin Young.

The Solution:

Step 1: We discussed the situation with Haesin, and came up with keywords together for the purpose of finding illegal copies.

Step 2: Using those keywords, we set up weekly Google searches. The results were then analyzed and the list of keyword would then be improved.  

Step 3: All illegal Google search results where then reported to Google itself, resulting in complete removals from their search indexes.  

Step 4: The removed Google results would then be analyzed, and all sites would then be contacted by sending out DMCA takedown notices.  

Step 5: A follow up to sending out DMCA takedown notices, was that Onsist would contact ISP’s and Hosting Providers to find out more about the infringing sites. 

Step 6: After the regular routine checkups, Onsist researches new keywords monthly. That way, more results will be found and reported.

The Results:

Since the writing of this case study a total of 5000+ illegal results have been reported for Haesin. If we breakdown the results we can see most of the results are Google search results and illegal images. A full breakdown is given below.  

3,114

Google Results De-indexed

318

Downloads Removed

1,508

Images Taken Down

309

Other Contents Removed

Logical Reasoning:

As we can see by looking at the overview of results Onsist has reported for webtoon creator Haesin, we notice that the category with the most reported URLs is the Google Search Results category.

Onsist reports hundreds of illegal webtoon pages on a weekly basis to Google. For Haesin, we have been able to report between 300 to 800 illegal Google pages per week as of late. By constantly updating keywords, Onsist keeps increasing their scope and reach; therefore, finding more illegal content. Removing these infringing sites from Google will also isolate any problems caused by the sites in question. Potential viewers will not be able to find illegal copies of “Pian Pian” through Google anymore.

A total of 318 downloads have been reported as of now. As all other figures, this is ever increasing. Even though most websites offer “Pian Pian” via a web based viewer, some offer this webtoon via a more traditional download. These downloads are reported as soon as they’re found.

Onsist has also reported more than 1500+ copyright infringing images. These images are being used in web based webtoon viewers. Each image usually stands for a “Pian Pian” page.

The Challenges:

Webtoon and manhwa piracy is a type of piracy that brings several unique challenges.

Many of the sites that pirate Haesin’s materials are hosted in what is known as “Safe haven” countries. These are countries that have weak or non-existing forms of copyright law. This means that it is difficult to get content removed from these sites.

Our solution to that is to keep fighting. Onsist has been able to takedown content from several “unremovable” platforms, and we’ll keep at it.

Another solution is that we report these sites to Google so that the problem will isolate. People will not be able to find these sites through Google’s search engine.

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