US Court Blocks HYBE’s Defamation Suit Against Twitter User

HYBE, the agency for BTS and LE SSERAFIM, suffered a setback in their lawsuit against an anonymous Twitter user accused of defamation.

A U.S. District Court recently rejected HYBE’s request to disclose the user’s personal information, marking a significant development in the case.

The legal tussle began when HYBE sought to identify the person behind the Twitter handle @guiltyarchive … Who had allegedly disseminated false and damaging claims about BTS and LE SSERAFIM.

After filing a defamation complaint with the Yongsan Police Station in Seoul … HYBE encountered difficulties due to Twitter’s headquarters in the United States. This geographical barrier prompted HYBE to utilize the U.S. legal system’s discovery process to obtain the necessary information.

The Allegations

The controversy erupted when the user @guiltyarchive posted allegations linking LE SSERAFIM to the disbandment of GFRIEND and insinuating that BTS’s debut venue, Ilji Art Hall, was connected to Danworld.

These claims quickly gained traction online, prompting HYBE to take legal action to protect their artists’ reputations. However, the anonymity of the Twitter user posed a significant challenge, complicating HYBE’s efforts to address the defamation.

To overcome the obstacles posed by Twitter’s U.S. headquarters, HYBE turned to the American legal system’s discovery process, which allows for the exchange of evidence and documents before a trial.

This process can compel third parties to provide relevant information, but it ultimately depends on judicial approval. In this case, Judge Vince Chhabria acknowledged that HYBE’s request met the necessary legal standards but chose not to authorize the disclosure of the user’s personal information.

The judge emphasized the potential misuse of the U.S. legal system by private individuals to obtain personal information and stressed that law enforcement agencies should conduct criminal investigations.

Court’s Decision and Reasoning

Judge Chhabria’s decision underscored the importance of maintaining privacy and appropriate legal procedures. He pointed out that there was no evidence of any action taken by Korean police regarding HYBE’s complaint.

Additionally, he noted that if Korean authorities were to request information disclosure, the process could proceed under the existing treaty between the U.S. and Korea.

Moving Forward

HYBE’s struggle is not unique in the entertainment industry. Other companies, such as Starship Entertainment and ADOR, have successfully used similar legal avenues to obtain information about individuals spreading malicious content online.

For instance, Starship is currently engaged in legal proceedings against the YouTuber Sojang, while ADOR has yet to take legal action against Middle7. These cases illustrate the varied outcomes and complexities involved in addressing defamation in the digital age.

Despite the setback, HYBE has potential avenues for future action. They could collaborate with Korean authorities to request information disclosure under international treaties.

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