Article: Idol 'fanpage masters' make as much as big company salaries for chasing idols
Source: Korea Ilbo via Nate
1. [+214, -2] A job that's perfectly fit for paparazzi sasaengs ㅋㅋ
2. [+140, -36] Official fan merchandise can never live up to the quality of fanpage merchandise. You can tell from how fanpage photographers capture these idols that they have a clear love for what they're photographing. Compared to what companies sell as official merchandise, there's a huge difference in the amount of love and care behind the pictures. Fanpage photographers already know what angle their idol looks best in and all of the little habits and gestures of theirs. Agencies can try to take pictures as good as these fanpage photographers but they'll never live up to the quality ㅋㅋㅋ I assure you that. Either way, fanpage photographers and idols have a symbiotic relationship. Idols will give eye contact and even become friends with famous fanpage masters. A lot of agencies also share information with them as well.
3. [+128, -19] If fanpages are able to provide higher quality content, then it's another story. Whether what they're doing is illegal and breaching private rights, they will always have a demand if what they're providing is higher quality than what official fan merchandise can provide. It's why the blu-ray market is still doing fine no matter how big the bootleg market is... because there are still people who prefer high quality content.
4. [+20, -11] From the perspective of a fan, I'm grateful to fanpage masters. I can't follow these idols every day and see them myself but they take the time to attend all their events and take pictures of them. They invest in expensive lenses to take higher quality pictures that are then pain stakingly edited for upload. With SM, you have to pay around $5 to buy one idol picture which are leser quality than what fanpage masters can take. Before people whine about portrait rights and all that, I think they need to realize that there are a lot of people who become fans after seeing pictures taken by a particular fanpage master. Why are agencies not factoring the income they receive from such promotion? I've heard that nowadays agencies have a private relationship with fanpage masters to share information and whatnot.
5. [+14, -3] A lot of people become fans from fanpage photos. The reason agencies can't do anything to control portrait rights is because the more fanpage masters they have for their group, the more exposure their group gets. I'm not saying that what the fanpage masters are doing is right but usually the income earned from their merchandise like photobooks are used to pay off expenses for its production and then put back to supporting the idols, usually in the form of gifts. Agencies don't really have grounds to step in and try to stop that.
6. [+13, -2] Either way, they're violating portrait laws through illegal activities. They should be taxed and treated according to the law...
7. [+13, -1] I think this article is talking about EXO fans. Their fanpages sell photobooks and DVDs and make millions of won at a time which they don't pay taxes for
8. [+11, -5] I understand why agencies are hesitant to put a stop to fanpage masters because a lot of them help promote the group and gather more fans. Most of the fanpages don't make big salaries. Fanpage masters are usually kids from rich families who can fund such a life style or people who take money out of their own pocket to fund it.
9. [+10, -2] This is their job??? Taking pictures of someone without their permission and selling it to others??? That's actually a dream career??
10. [+10, -1] Looks like idols are providing opportunities for all sorts of people to make money. If even fanpages are making this much money, then agency CEOs must make a ton more. No wonder so many people are producing idols left and right and all of our TV shows are nothing but idols.
11. [+8, -3] So none of them are paying taxes on what they make because it's illegal. All of the fanpages need to be investigated then.
12. [+7, -1] Fanpages are just paparazzi sasaengs glamorized under a different name...
13. [+6, -0] Glamorize it all you want, what they're doing is still illegal...