Now, I am a little confused about why I haven’t heard about this little tid-bit before. Actually, the only reason I heard about it in the first place is because VIPs are up in arms about the fact that GD‘s new album might be delayed. Yes, I’m concerned about that too, but I think it is time to look at the broader picture.
First, the suckerpunch, just to prepare you. Starting August 18th all media that is to be released online, excluding pictures, making-of, and BTS videos, has to be reviewed by a 7 member committee who can decide whether or not it is allowed to be uploaded.
Now, the background.
The Korean Media Rating Board was founded in 1966 in order to regulate what appears in movies, on television and, initially, video games, at least until the Gaming Rating Board was created in ’99. They are just like the Motion picture rating system that we have in the US. The MPRS doesn’t censor so much as they set guidelines about what can be shown at what time and the ratings each movie and television show gets. Doesn’t seem to do that much harm, right?
But when it comes to what media can and cannot be uploaded to internet (by the people who legally own said media), Americans have free reign. Almost. A majority of sites have warnings saying you cannot enter unless you’re over 13 or over 18, depending on the content, and YouTube has made it so you can’t view certain videos if you are under 13/18, but that is mainly to cover their own butts. And while most of the music videos uploaded from the US are censored, the artists themselves do that in order to allow their music video to be viewed by more people, thereby giving them more “internet fame.” There are plenty of artists who do not censor their videos because, well, they don’t have to. One such group is the hilarious The Lonely Island with songs such as “Dick in a Box” and “I Just Had Sex.” Definitely not censored. So much as people get pissy saying we don’t have freedom of speech, think about The Lonely Island and then think about what would happen if they tried to release any songs in a different country such as, on I don’t know, South Korea after August 18th.
Currently, music videos that were to be shown on TV have to be approved as does any of the choreography used by groups that are to perform live. Okay, I can sort of get behind that. The US is sort of like that as well. I mean, there is a reason True Blood is only on HBO guys. And this explains why the awesome/hilarious crotch grab, depending on which guy you are watching, from B.A.P.’s No Mercy MV never showed up in their music show performances. But starting August 18th, there is a chance that videos like No Mercy will never make it online.
The new rules state that any MV or teaser clip, excluding BTS and making-of videos, that entertainment companies wish to upload online must be reviewed and approved of beforehand. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Any company found to have uploaded content without approval can be fined up to $17,000 or put on probation for 2 years.
What does this mean for us, the international K-pop crowd? Music video release dates will be less certain, the number of crotch grabs will be down to zero, and, since most entertainment companies are very against this whole policy, the number of music videos, teasers, and other official content released online will most likley decrease. Because truthfully, who wants to go through all of the trouble of making a music video only to have some board of 7 people tell them that they can’t show it?
While I understand that the KMRB thinks they are protecting the youth of Korea, they need to realize how large of an impact this will have. Just as K-pop is starting to become known world wide thanks to the joy of YouTube and other media uploading sites, they are going and censoring it. I don’t know about you, but I am extremely worried about the effect this will have on upcoming debuts, comebacks, and MV releases.
What do YOU think of all this mumbo jumbo? Do you think the KMRB will be as strict on internet content as they are for other forms of media?