File sharing websites and producers in South Korea have developed a three-step plan to combat piracy.

The Korean Motion Picture Producers Association (KMPPA) and Digital Contents Network Association (DCNA), a group formed by owners of online file-sharing and storage services, announced the plan in Seoul on May 13.

In South Korea, producers can only count on about 20% of profits to come from ancillary rights, and the market for these rights have been stagnating for years. Many blame the easily accessible illegal downloads on P2P and webhard sites, and a lack of awareness about piracy.

The KMPPA and DCNA are proposing to eradicate piracy from its root by:

  • DNA filtering – which will find moving file using techniques such as voice and image recognition.

The two associations have drawn up guidelines on the level of filtering that can be used and approved companies that can provide these services. Only two companies have been approved so far.

  • 24-hour monitoring of 150 local webhard companies to make sure the filtering is working, and to demand pirated files be erased within one hour.
  • Quick prosecution in cases when any webhards are found to still have pirated files online.

The launch of legal online film-viewing services in 2008 has been changing the market but the coalition expects a growth spurt once piracy has been reduced. 

It is estimated the first half of this year’s profits from legal online viewers would be $24.1m (KW30bn), but following moves to tackle piracy, profits should reach $160.75m (KW200bn) by the end of the year.

In related news, Korea Telecom affiliate KTH has started a pay-to-download service on its portal site Paran. It offers more than 350 recent films that can be downloaded rather than streamed. Prices range from $0.80 - $2.8.