South Korean city set to destroy BTS sculpture over IP rights
05 February 2024
Photo: Gangwon-do Private Day Tour: K-Pop Filming Location (Maengbang Beach & Samcheok Beach) | South Korea - KKday
On January 5, 2024, Samcheok, a coastal city famous for its BTS picture zone sculpture and signs, decided to demolish a popular BTS-themed sculpture and other related installations at Maengbang Beach, according to entertainment website Koreaboo. This decision is believed to be a response to a growing conflict over intellectual property rights started by HYBE, the entertainment company managing the globally acclaimed K-pop group BTS.
After HYBE recently sent formal requests for the removal of BTS-related structures from several local governments, issues about possible IP rights violation arose, which led to the decision.
More than just physical representatives, these structures hold cultural significance that various locations have become tourist spots for BTS fans. Dubbed “holy sites,” these locations have gained fame due to their connection to the K-pop group’s album cover images or music video shooting. Today, the loyal fan base recognizes these locations as iconic landmarks. For instance, Maengbang Beach in Samcheok became famous for its association with BTS’s hit song Butter.
Some local governments criticized HYBE’s approach for being excessive, but a HYBE representative clarified the necessity to protect BTS’s intellectual property rights and prevent any potential harm to the K-pop group’s image.
- Excel V. Dyquiangco