SEJONG, Aug. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – Your neighborhood café might be playing a lot less music going forward now that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has announced amendments to copyright laws.
On August 16, the ministry issued a statement saying that revisions to standing copyright regulations had been made and would go into effect in the latter half of next year.
As it stands, establishments that do not charge entry fees (such as cafés and restaurants) are exempt from fees for playing copyrighted music or video. Only karaoke bars and drinking establishments, large-scale supermarkets and department stores are required to pay fees for the use of copyrighted material.
Copyright regulations had been criticized for being too limited in scope, especially when compared to equivalent regulations enacted in other countries.
Under the amended policy, cafés, hofs (taken from the word “hop”, but misspelled and mispronounced, denoting drinking establishments), health clubs and other businesses will be subject to fees when using copyrighted material.
Shopping malls and “large” businesses that were previously exempt will also need to pay for copyrighted material. On the other hand, establishments occupying an area of 50 square meters or less and traditional open-air markets will not be considered under the new policy.
Fees will start at 4,000 won per month, and will be adjusted in accordance with the relevant business’s area measurements and industry. The ministry is planning to introduce a comprehensive collection system for copyright fees to ease the burden on businesses.
The policy will be announced next week. A one year “grace period” will follow before it goes into full effect.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)