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Culture Ministry vows action on pirated K-pop songs

Singer IU (Edam Entertainment)
Singer IU (Edam Entertainment)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Friday that it would take action against Chinese music labels that infringed copyrights by uploading translated versions of K-pop songs on YouTube.

There has been active discussion online about the practice of registering translated K-pop songs as original works by Chinese artists, without approval from the rightful copyright holders.

IU’s “Tear Drops in the Morning,” Brown Eyes’ “Already One Year” and Younha’s “Waiting” are among the songs that have been rerecorded by Chinese singers and uploaded on YouTube by Chinese music labels without the appropriate permission.

According to the Korea Music Copyright Association, the Chinese labels are violating the rights of the Korean performers.

“This is frustrating as it is beyond imagination, but we will work this out,” K-pop singer Younha wrote on social media earlier this month. By doing this “you cannot touch someone’s heart or earn great money,” she said.

The Culture Ministry, the Korea Music Copyright Association, the Federation of Korean Music Performers and the Recording Industry Association of Korea are looking into the matter after receiving reports from the copyright holders.

The ministry said it would also call for cooperation from YouTube Korea and copyright offices abroad.

The Korea Copyright Protection Agency said it would strengthen its monitoring of YouTube.

“We will take action so that the copyrights cannot be infringed on YouTube through unapproved adaptation of songs,” an official from the Culture Ministry said. “Copyright holders who register information on YouTube have to actively claim their rights, too.”

By Im Eun-byel (
Korea Herald daum