A 28-year-old man impersonated a member of BTS and engaged in criminal activities. This shocking case came to light in February 2022. Mr. A deceived a BIGHIT MUSIC producer into sharing sensitive group activity information and unreleased music files, which he later leaked on social media and messaging apps, causing harm to the company’s song productions, sales, and reputation. After a thorough legal process, the Western District Criminal Division 9 of Deagu District announced the final judgment on July 17, 2023.
The Impersonation and Music File Leak
Mr. A, residing in Daegu, posed as a BTS member and contacted a BIGHIT MUSIC producer, who unwittingly shared confidential materials with him. From February to May 2022, Mr. A continued to impede BIGHIT MUSIC’s operations by publicly posting music files on Instagram 47 times and sharing them with his acquaintances through messaging apps. The leaked files not only caused property damage but also affected the company’s reputation and social standing.
The Motive Behind the Impersonation
According to Mr. A’s lawyer, his client resorted to impersonation and leaked music files due to personal difficulties he faced in maintaining relationships with others, partly stemming from past criminal records. Feeling envious of his friends’ success in the music field, as Mr. A himself had aspirations in the pop music industry, he took extreme measures to boost his own image by copying or stealing the profile of a BIGHIT MUSIC producer.
The Court’s Considerations in Sentencing
The court carefully evaluated several factors before arriving at the final judgment in the music file leakage case. They took into account the financial and social damage suffered by the victim, BIGHIT MUSIC, as a result of the leaked files. Additionally, the court considered the nature of the leaked music, which had been edited and posted in short segments of 10-20 seconds. Furthermore, the music was released after the crime was committed which was later taken into consideration. Interestingly, BIGHIT MUSIC decided to withdraw the complaint, which might have influenced the court’s decision-making process.
The Sentencing Outcome
The said court sentenced the guilty person to one year and two months in prison. The same also reflected the severity of his actions. However, the court also showed some leniency by granting three years of probation to him. It further assigned 240 hours of community service to Mr. A. Recognizing the potential underlying issues, the court ordered him to attend 40 hours of mental and psychotherapy classes to address his behavior and actions effectively.
The case of impersonating a BTS member and leaking music files from BIGHIT MUSIC has come to an end with Mr. A receiving a prison sentence, probation, community service, and therapy. The incident serves as a reminder of cybercrime including its potential consequences. It also shows how impersonation is possible in the current digital age. It further underscores the importance of safeguarding sensitive information. The same aligns with the significance of the judicial system in delivering fair and appropriate justice.