THIS CONCERNS THOSE WHO KNOW AND REBLOG FROM KOREAN TUMBLR USERS
The Korean government has recently passed a law that says, in it’s most basic form, “Anyone found as a creator, seller, or buyer of materials containing adolescent pornography will be punished as a sexual offender.”
Okay, well, that makes sense to stop the production of such things, they’re no good after all, right?
This wouldn’t be such a problem if the rules weren’t as ambiguous as hell.
More specifically, the law states the following counts
- Any appearances that could be seen as a teen/child
- Any type of pornography from explicit sex to being semi-nude (think mini skirts or swimming suits)
- Any media from illustrations, games, videos, films, etc.
Of course, it is purely up to the investigator to decide if the subject is an adolescent or not, or if the act is porn or not.
This means I could draw an 80-year-old man in just shorts, and be sent to jail if the investigator thinks the man looks like a teenager in a revealing outfit.
Jail? Surely I am exaggerating? But no, it is the truth: people who are caught breaking this law can be either sent to prison for several years or fined a 20,000$ equivalent, and they will lose their job in the entertainment industry.
Who’s in danger? Anyone who is a Korean citizen, regardless of where they live. Illustrators and animators in America can be removed with no consequence, and even small freelance artists and game developers can lose their jobs and have their projects revoked.
Personal privacy is no issue either; sending a picture to a friend via SMS can and will land you a place in jail if the material is considered adolescent porn. Even worse, the government has set up a system where people can get paid for turning others in who violate this law. One person had even linked 1700 personal websites, many of which were casual art blogs for Korean artists.
How can you help? First, stop reblogging the works of Korean artists on Tumblr, and delete any posts if the original post has been deleted. Even if the original post is gone, Tumblr will still link to the blog that posted it, revealing the creator. Second, spread the word. Let people know that this new law has already caught hundreds of artists who’s art is considered pornographic only by the police. Finally, respect those who have decided to delete their website or blog. They have done it to ensure that no one can falsely turn them in or be unfairly thrown in prison.
This a ridiculous law, but it’s been passed and has caused a huge issue in the Korean online community. Any media before September 2012 is safe, but after that the law is in place. Please help Korean artists to stay safe!
If you have any questions, there is an English-speaking website that you can send comments and concerns to.