On August 17, the South Korean label took to ATEEZ’s official fancafé page to announce that it has taken legal action against an unnamed YouTube channel it alleges published a “malicious video” against the boyband, “on charges of violating the law on promoting the use of information and communication networks, insulting, obstructing business, and breaking copyright laws”, as translated by Koreaboo.
“In addition, the YouTuber in question created a video spreading rumours as if they were true and was able to make a profit through it, which we judged to be very malicious,” wrote the label in their statement. “In particular, for deceiving fans supporting ATEEZ, we have decided to take strong legal action.”
KQ Entertainment concluded its statement by urging those who have made “unfounded claims and malicious posts” against the company’s in-house artists to “delete their posts”, and those who have related evidence or documentation to submit it via email.
“There will be no lenience or cooperation as we pursue both civil and criminal liability in these cases in the future. KQ Entertainment will always work to protect our artists’ rights and reputation,” the statement read.
KQ Entertainment taking action against “malicious” online content against ATEEZ comes under a month after the group released their most recent album ‘The World Ep 1: Movement’, which featured the title track ‘Guerrilla’. The record also included five other B-sides, all of which were co-written by members Hongjoong and Mingi, save opening track ‘Propaganda’.
Following ‘The World Ep 1: Movement”s release, the boyband reached a new peak on the Billboard 200 chart with the album debuting at Number Three on August 7. This feat made ATEEZ the fifth K-pop boyband to land in the Top Three of the weekly chart, after BTS, SuperM, NCT 127 and Stray Kids.