‘Squid Game’ is a show that premiered on Sep 17, exclusively on Netflix. According to the synopsis, desperate people put their lives on the line for a chance to win 45,600,000,000 KRW [~38,187,145.44 USD] and partake in a series of games. Since the show’s release, the show became the number one show in 83 countries around the world.
Due to the show’s success, a lot of games imitating the games within the show have been developed. Currently, there are more than 200 games on the Google Play market that can be searched with the search word, ‘Squid Game’, and over 600 on the Roblox platform.
Recently, one indie game company in Korea has received a lot of criticism for imitating content. Since then, the game company has told the press, “It’s a low-budget parody game; we’ve reached out to Netflix and Innersloth and explained what the game was, letting them know that our intent is to homage the show.” However, they’ve failed to avoid criticism in the fact that they’ve utilized aspects of the show before formal negotiations between the two parties.
It’s hard to say that the games within the show are all Netflix's property. Games such as ‘Red Light, Green Light’, ‘Honeycomb’, ‘Tug of War’ to ‘Marbles’ are all games that have existed in Korean history for years; to claim them as intellectual property would bring forth a lot of problems. However, utilizing other aspects of the show such as the Younghee robot and the masked security guards in pink jumpsuits, or using the ○△□ in the title can definitely be subject to copyright violations.
On Oct 8, Netflix commented that they’re “Keeping a close eye on IP Breach"; “Currently, there have been no formal agreement with any game company, so we’re keeping a close eye on the situation for copyright infringement. We’re internally discussing what we need to do when the time comes for us to take action.”
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