Lezhin Comics is a global webtoon platform that offers subscriptions for Korean and Japanese online comics. Lezhin has seen rapid growth since its founding in 2013. In its first year of service, Lezhin was already hosting 400 webtoons; and soon, it was surpassing 10 million users, rising as one of the top webtoon publishers in the world within five years of launching. With an increasing library of over 8,000 titles, Lezhin continues to evolve into a global premium platform for online comics.
However, with the expansion of Lezhin’s fan base over the years, there has been a surge in the number of IP infringers taking advantage of Lezhin’s strong consumer base to manufacture and sell various merchandise featuring characters from Lezhin’s most popular comics. Recognizing the risk that such false association was posing to its reputation, Lezhin had to find an effective way to detect and remove such IP infringing merchandise in the process of scaling the company into a global platform.
Prior to its partnership with MarqVision, Lezhin did not have a holistic understanding of the scope of its IP infringing market. The company had been aware of the existence of infringing merchandise on online marketplaces. However, because it had never been fully aware of the gravity of the situation, it did not have a committed brand protection team or a system for tracking infringements. It was only when MarqVision presented its insight on IP infringing markets in China and Southeast Asia that Lezhin finally came to realize that it needed to develop a strategy to safeguard its webtoon creators’ copyrights.
Lezhin’s main concern was reputational damage. The online distribution of low-quality IP infringing merchandise was causing content creators to lose faith in the company’s ability to safely host their webtoons. The negative impact this had on Lezhin’s relationship with webtoon creators was hurting the business overall–and Lezhin turned to MarqVision for assistance.
In the beginning, Lezhin lacked data and direction on how to methodically engage in brand protection. Therefore, MarqVision’s first solution for Lezhin was to provide extensive research on infringers’ geographic distribution, most active marketplaces, and selling patterns. Based on the following analysis, MarqVision then offered guidance on strategic marketplace coverage and asset categorization through a single user dashboard that highlights the detected listings, enforcements by seller, country, asset, and marketplace all at once. Thanks to MarqVision’s infringement status analysis, Lezhin has obtained newfound visibility and centralization of information, which has enabled Lezhin to ascertain the scale of the IP infringing market and identify key areas for business expansion.
The staggering amount of low-quality infringing merchandise online was hurting Lezhin’s credibility and reputation among partnered creators whose works were being constantly infringed upon. By automating detection and removal, MarqVision was able to enforce high volumes of infringing merchandise, thereby helping Lezhin to regain creators’ trust that it can effectively protect their copyrights.
Lezhin is now protected on six Chinese and Southeast Asian marketplaces where infringement issues are most severe. Since adopting MarqVision, Lezhin has been enforcing almost 2000 listings per month on these marketplaces. At a 99% enforcement success rate, the total value of infringements that MarqVision has enforced for Lezhin surpasses $200 million.
In addition to protecting Lezhin from IP infringing merchandise, MarqVision is preparing to implement anti-piracy services in the near future to better assist Lezhin in its fight against illegal content reproduction and distribution.
Overseas Sales Manager at Lezhin Comics