Why Street Carols Are Dead, and It’s Not Because of Copyright Fees!

Blame noise and energy regulations

As we approach the end of the year, many people are wondering about the sudden disappearance of carols from the streets. While it was generally thought to be due to copyright issues, the Korean Music Copyright Association recently linked the phenomenon to noise regulations and energy policy. The Noise and Vibration Control Act, which states that stores can be fined if the noise they make exceeds a certain threshold, has made it harder to play carols on the street.

photo of music score

Additionally, playing music inside the store and leaving doors open to allow sound to be heard on the street can also be targeted for enforcement due to energy regulatory policies. This is linked to the issue of decreased heating efficiency, which seems to have led to street carols becoming more rare.

Copyright fees, not much, actually

However, when it comes to the issue of royalties, most stores say that music is available regardless of copyright. Certain businesses, such as cafes, hypermarkets, and fitness centers, are required to pay a royalty fee, which allows them to use carols freely. In particular, small stores under 50 square meters are exempt from paying royalties, allowing eligible small businesses to utilize music without any restrictions.

Even if you’re subject to royalties, you can reportedly pay up to $10,000 a month to play music freely. Policies like this are expected to be a big help to small businesses.

Public reaction, why is music the only noise?

Public reaction to this has been mixed. Some expressed concern about noise issues caused by religious propaganda in urban centers such as Seoul Station, and suggested that this should be prioritized. Why is music the only noise? Others nostalgically recall the romantic atmosphere of carols played on the streets. These reactions show that street music plays an important role in people’s lives.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top