Music could become harder to hear in shops and streets in South Korea.
Coffee shops, pubs and health clubs in the country from August next year would have to pay royalties to play music, according to a new government act to toughen protection on intellectual property rights.
Under the new act that would be declared next week and implemented after a year-long grace period, cafes, restaurants, pubs, and health clubs where background music plays an important role will also have to pay fees for using copyrighted music. Among large-scale commercial sites, shopping malls also would have to pay royalties to play music. The minimum monthly fee is 4,000 won ($3.52) and pricing will differ according to the business scale and type.
The government will come up with an integrated payment option to ease burden on shops.
Copyrighted music has so far imposed royalty payment on large retailers and karaoke bars.
Starbucks Korea announced it will pay fees to keep music on, while other coffee franchise chain stores will leave the matter up to the shop owners. Shops in large shopping malls could stop playing music due to the cost.
By Jeon Ji-hyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]