K-Pop

HYBE Faces Challenges in Tracking BTS and LE SSERAFIM’s “Cyber Wreckers” as U.S. Court Denies Information Disclosure Request

HYBE's request for disclosure of the X (formerly Twitter) user "Guilty Archive" was dismissed by the U.S. court. This setback means that the legal procedures against "Guilty Archive" remain uncertain due to the inability to secure personal information

On June 28th, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California announced that it would dismiss HYBE’s request for disclosure against X.

HYBE has been taking legal action against so-called “cyber wreckers” who have spread malicious rumors about its artists. “Guilty Archive” is accused of disseminating false information on X, such as “The reason behind GFriend’s disbandment is LE SSERAFIM” and “BTS’s debut showcase at Ilchi Art Hall is related to Dahnworld”.

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HYBE filed a defamation complaint against “Guilty Archive” with the Seoul Yongsan Police Station, but faced difficulties identifying the defendant due to X’s headquarters being located in the U.S. To obtain related information from X, HYBE applied for disclosure in the U.S. court.

This was done using the U.S. “discovery” process, a legal procedure where parties exchange evidence and documents before trial. Under Title 28, Section 1782 of the U.S. Code, discovery can be conducted even for foreign litigations if basic requirements are met, though whether to grant or deny the request is at the judge’s discretion.

Previously, Starship Entertainment and ADOR used this method to request information about malicious YouTubers “Sojang” and “7th Grade Middle School”. The California court granted their requests, allowing them to obtain these YouTubers’ personal information.

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However, HYBE’s request was denied. Judge Vince Chhabria acknowledged that HYBE’s application met the basic requirements of Section 1782 but did not grant the disclosure. The court viewed the use of the U.S. legal system by private individuals to obtain personal information as an abuse of the system. Judge Chhabria noted that criminal investigations are typically conducted by investigative agencies, not the victims, and pointed out the lack of action by Korean police regarding HYBE’s complaint.

Judge Chhabria added that if Korean investigative authorities were to request disclosure, it could proceed according to the treaty between the U.S. and Korea.

Meanwhile, Starship Entertainment is pursuing civil and criminal lawsuits against “Sojang”. In the first trial, “Sojang” was ordered to pay 100 million won to Jang Wonyoung, but they appealed. ADOR has not yet initiated legal action against “7th Grade Middle School”.

Source
Seoul Wire
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