Left: ADD's promotional video for the KF-X project. Right: Game footage from EA game "Battlefield 3."
ADD, KAI, Nabix involved in the production; nobody claims responsibility for the flawed outcome
By Lee Han-soo, Park Si-soo
A promotional video for South Korea's largest-ever fighter jet development project was produced with unauthorized video game footage.
The footage containing scenes of air combat and the bombing of an aircraft carrier was used without the consent of their original producers — Japan's Bandai Namco and Electronic Arts (EA) of the United States — which constitutes copyright violation.
The unauthorized game footage from EA's "Battlefield 3" and Bandai Namco's "Ace Combat: Assault Horizon" are shown for about 10 seconds in the video clip, which runs for 10 minutes and 16 seconds. At one point, English subtitles of the original game are seen on the video.
Released one year ago, the promotional video, titled "KFX Promotional Video ADD," has been played more than 12,000 times on YouTube and can be seen on other websites promoting the KF-X project, which will cost up to 30 trillion won ($24.9 billion) by 2028.
The cost of making the video was 40 million won, according to officials.
However, none of the organizations involved in the video production claims responsibility for the apparent violation of copyrights.
The Agency for Defense Development (ADD), which initiated the KF-X project, said it was not aware of the unauthorized use of the game footage, passing the buck to Nabix, a small studio in Seoul that produced the video.
"After The Korea Times made an inquiry into the use of game footage in our KF-X promotional video, we checked with Nabix and confirmed that the footage was inserted without consent of the original producers," said Shin Hwan-gyu, an ADD spokesman. "We were not aware of this."
He said they will discard the video footage.
Nabix said the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), which is responsible for producing fighter jets developed in the KF-X project, is responsible for the problem.
"After KAI was designated as a main manufacturer, the company dispatched a researcher to our company and he controlled everything with regard to video production, including words and sentences to be embedded and other details," said Nabix CEO Kim Yoon-gak. "The KAI asked me to produce the video like the one promoting the F-35. And it provided us with related information and clips that needed to be inserted."
The CEO did not remember whether the game footage was among the clips offered. Instead, he said, "This is a government project. There was nothing we could do arbitrarily."
Left: ADD's promotional video for the KF-X project. Right: Game trailer footage from Bandai Namco's "Ace combat assault horizon."
The KAI also claimed innocence.
"The game footage was not included in the materials we provided to Nabix," said Kim Sung-pil, a spokesman. "It's unclear how the game footage was inserted in the video."
The "Battlefield 3" footage was confirmed to be from a single player mission inside the game, while the "Ace Combat: Assault Horizon" footage is from its trailer.
The ADD told The Korea Times that it would "discard" the video, and apologized on behalf of organizations involved for the unauthorized use of footage.
The Korea Times contacted EA and Bandai Namco for comment, but they did not reply.
South Korea started the KF-X project to develop indigenous fighter jets to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s, and Lockheed has promised to transfer some of its technologies related to the F-35 in return for Seoul's purchase of the jets.