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Published 2021-10-08
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Netflix Sued! Hit Netflix Show Squid Game Brings More Problems Then Success?

It seems that Netflix just can’t catch a break! While everyone is busy binge-watching Squid Game and obsessing over the actors in the South Korean drama, it looks like the streaming giant is having some issues that have been caused by the series. From having to delete scenes from the show after it was published to now being handed a lawsuit by the country’s internet service provider SK Broadband. Why has the company decided to sue the streaming platform? And did they have any prior problems? Read on to find out just how much money this could cost them.

Squid Game - Deleted Scenes

Squid Game - Deleted Scenes

Besides most likely bringing Netflix in a lot of money, though no official figures have yet been made public, the hit show Squid Game had caused the streaming platform some trouble. And one of them meant that they had to go in and make changes to the series after it had already premiered. But what happened? Well, for those who might not be up to speed, in the first episode of the show, a mysterious man gives business cards containing an eight-digit number to contestants interested in participating in the survival game. Well...as it turned out, people have been calling the number. As it turns out it wasn’t fictional but a real one that, according to The South China Morning Post, belonged to a man in his 40s who lives in the Gyeonggi Province. He told a local news station that he has been getting around 4,000 calls a day since the series premiered and that most of them were from kids who “wanted to be in the game”. To save the man the trouble of having his phone constantly ringing, Netflix had agreed to resolve the issue by deleting the scenes which featured the number. Though that is not all, according to a local newspaper Hankook Ilbo, South Korea’s political party member had offered to acquire the phone number for a staggering number of 100 million won, which would be around $85,000.

Squid Game - Bank Account

Besides the phone issues, there were other numbers in the series that had caused the creators to go in and make some edits once the show was already released. If you have reached somewhat the end of Squid Game, you would know that one of the characters ends up with a significant amount of prize money. The person’s bank account was shown on screen, along with a massive 45.6 billion won account balance. And just like with the phone number, it turns out these aren’t just some random numbers because this bank account exists! In an online interview, Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed that it belongs to one of the producers of the show. As Koreaportal reported, Hwang said that they had permission to use it before filming started. He also said that since the show’s release the producer in question has been receiving deposits in the amount of 456 won ($0.38) from people who apparently watched the show. Though now, to ensure other issues don’t arise in the future, the team has decided to close the account.

Squid Game - Bank Account

Squid Game - Subtitles Issue

And as if these pesky numbers weren’t an issue in itself, internet users who are fluent in Korean and English had pointed out several mistakes in the subtitles of the show. One TikTok user claimed that “if you don’t understand Korean you didn’t really watch the same show”. Youngmi Mayer took to her TikTok profile to show the differences, she pointed out that some of them might have been a bit insignificant but one of the more significant ones was when Han Mi-nyeo, according to the English subtitles, said: “'I'm not a genius, but I still got it work out”, when in reality what she said was: “I never bothered to study, but I'm incredibly smart,” which as you can see, changes the meaning and also doesn’t show the full extent of the character’s motivations. Though in the comments of the post, some had pointed out that people who translate movies for subtitles are often underpaid and overworked and aren’t always able to spend more time translating texts to make sure that they stay as true to the original as possible.

@youngmimayer

##squidgame translations are sooo wrong here’s a little example

♬ original sound - youngmi

Netflix Vs SK Broadband

As it turns out the streaming giant is having some issues with the South Korean internet provider SK Broadband. As reported by Reuters, the company sued Netflix, asking them to pay for costs from increased Network traffic and maintenance work because of an increase in streaming the U.S firm’s content. That of course, had been caused by the release of Squid Game on September 17th, as everyone had rushed to stream this brand new series that had been 10 years in the making.

Squid Game Popularity

Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos had spoken about the Korean-language survival show and said that it will definitely be the company’s biggest non-English series of all time, adding that there is a very good chance that it will become their biggest show ever, a title that is currently held by Bridgerton which was viewed by a record of 82 million households. But now, in light of the release of Squid Game, SK Broadband had alleged that traffic from Netflix on its network has increased by 1,150 Gigabits per second over the past three years, peaking this September. So while this was an issue that has been going on for a while, it certainly got more intense with the show’s release. Though make sure to read on to find out what all this means for the streaming platform.

Squid Game - Subtitles Issue

Netflix VS SK Broadband - The Issue

Given that the platform's data traffic, which is handled by SK, significantly jumped higher 24 times since May 2018, it had just gone to show the popularity of the platform and have underscored Netflix’s status as the country’s second-largest data traffic generator after Google’s YouTube. However, as a spokesperson from the internet company had reported to Reuters, those two are the only ones to not pay network usage fees, which other content providers such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are paying.

Netflix Vs SK Broadband

Netflix - Usage Fees

It is without a shadow of a doubt that Netflix is one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world. According to their site, their services are available in all but four countries, which are China, Crimea, North Korea, or Syria. And while it was revealed that the company had not been paying usage fees in South Korea that cannot be said for other countries as, according to Reuters, the streaming giant has been paying usage fees to providers in other countries, among them the United States and Canada. Make sure to read on until the end to find out just how much money the company could lose in this case!

Squid Game Popularity

Netflix vs SK Broadband - Court Ruling

Already last year there was talk about this ongoing debate when the streaming giant brought its own lawsuit on whether it had any obligation to pay SK for network usage, arguing that their duty ends with creating content and leaving it accessible. Then back in June 2021, there was a court case that has ended in a loss for Netflix, as it was ruled that internet service providers may be empowered to levy bandwidth usage fees on sites that use a lot of internet traffic, namely streaming platforms. Fast forward several months to October, in the same case a Seoul court had said that Netflix should “reasonably” give something in return to the internet provider for the network usage, as more South Korean lawmakers have spoken out against content providers who do not pay the fees despite generating explosive traffic. According to court documents, the internet provided had estimated that the usage fee the streaming company needed to pay in 2020 alone was around 27.2 billion won ($22.9 million).

Netflix VS SK Broadband - The Issue

Netflix vs SK Broadband - Their Reply

Though the streaming company had already appealed against the ruling, as court records reveal that fresh proceedings are to start in late December. However, as it turns out the company had also in a way contributed to the country as in an official statement, Netflix had revealed that they had helped to the creation of about 16,000 jobs in South Korea that had stemmed from around 770 billion won in investments, as well as an economic effect of about 5.6 trillion. Though to see how this ends, and whether they will have to pay the millions at stake, it will be revealed with a new court ruling.

Do you think that the streaming company should be paying Network usage fees or does their responsibility end at creating content and making it available? Let us know in the comments and if you enjoyed this article do not hesitate to share it with your friends and leave a Like on our Facebook page!

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Netflix - Usage Fees
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