*Netflix is facing a lawsuit over its hit Korean survival drama series “Squid Game.”
The series became an international smash hit overnight after arriving on the platform in September. It has since boosted the social media profiles of the series’ stars and sparked a slew of funny memes.
Korean internet service provider SK Broadband is taking legal action against the streaming giant for network usage fees amid the massive popularity of the series, Variety reports.
Here’s more from Distractify:
Technically, speaking, the lawsuit SK Broadband is bringing against Netflix isn’t directly about Squid Game. The blockbuster numbers that the show has done in the US have given the ISP a point of leverage against the streamer. What’s really at the heart of the lawsuit is a demand by SK Broadband that Netflix pay a usage fee for the bandwidth that the streamer has used in Korea over the past three years.
SK Broadband says that in 2018, Netflix was using roughly 50 Gigabits every second, and now, in 2021, the company is using roughly 1,200. Netflix has also claimed that its investment in producing movies and TV shows has had a $4.7 billion impact on the country’s economy, and has led to the creation of 16,000 jobs in South Korea. Tech Crunch reports that Netflix had roughly 3.8 million subscribers in South Korea at the end of 2020.
This lawsuit comes after a court in Korea ruled that Netflix did have to pay for the broadband that it ate up as its users streamed its content. Thanks to that decision, SK Broadband has been empowered to force Netflix to pay when it consumes excessive amounts of bandwidth or causes heavy network traffic.
Netflix has already appealed the Korean court’s decision.
“We believe in a collaborative relationship between content providers and ISPs, with each providing the best experience to our mutual consumers. We are investing heavily in bringing great K-content to our audiences around the world,” said a Netflix spokesman in a statement. “Despite ongoing litigation, we will continue to seek open dialogue with SK Broadband so consumers can continue to enjoy high-quality content streaming at fast speeds.”