Everyone, as you know Wuxiaworld started off as a Chinese-only translation and reading platform, so during the past year or two our primary focus has mainly been on working with Chinese rights holders. Starting with the Gravity exodus, we have gradually been branching out to Korean novels as well, and now that our Chinese rights situation is more-or-less settled it has been time to turn my attention to our Korean novels as well. A week or two ago, I flew to Seoul for discussions with Munpia, the largest Korean-language webnovel platform which hosts many of the novels our translators have brought to you to read and enjoy. Our talks were fairly positive, but they did make a big request - that during this process of negotiations, Wuxiaworld temporarily pause and take down our Korean translations as a show of good faith.
The Korean scene is a bit different from the Chinese scene; authors (or their respective agencies) have much more say and often own their own works, whereas the Chinese webnovel scene usually sees the platform holding the rights. Munpia has expressed a willingness to reach out to their author/partners and convey our offers for their English-language rights, but explained to us that (once again, unlike the Chinese scene) authors generally have a bad reaction to their works being translated to English without explicit contractual authorizations, and it is difficult for them to serve as mediator while these novels are already on Wuxiaworld. Hence, they have requested us to temporarily take down these translations during this negotiation period, which is expected to take roughly a month or so.
We did our best to suggest alternatives, including offering thousands of dollars of no-strings attached 'goodwill gifts' to authors (on top of expensive royalty payments) to keep these novels up during this period of time, as we really did not want to disrupt the reading experience for all of you. Unfortunately, Munpia still strongly advises that the best way forward is to take these novels offline for a few weeks, although they did suggest a 'grace period' for us to let the readers know. After a period of reflection, we've decided to accede to their request as a show of good faith and hopefully build a stronger foundation of relationships for the future.
Hence, all completed Korean novels will be made invisible in one week (November 19, 2018), while all in-progress Korean novels will be made invisible in two weeks (November 26, 2018). Hopefully, we will have them all back up roughly a month or so after that, just in time for Christmas (December 25, 2018). All sponsorship tiers have also been made invisible, to prevent new sponsors from joining for now. For those who still have a few days of sponsorship on a Korean novel after November 26, the plan is to either 'pause' those sponsorships and then credit the amount of time remaining once the novels come back online, or just provide credit equal to the amount of time left - this will mainly be a technical consideration.
I think it goes without saying that I don't like this, and this is a very imperfect solution, but it's the best one we have if we want to proceed with putting Wuxiaworld in a good position to continue doing Korean novels for you in the future. If we cannot sort out the rights situation, in the long run we'll most likely have to begin transitioning out of Korean novels entirely, which is something which I think no one wants to see. So, I'm incredibly sorry for this temporary inconvenience, but in one/two weeks time we're going to start invis'ing these novels. If you have completed Korean novels you've been meaning to take a look at, don't wait, get to reading soon!
Thanks so much,