Court Ruled Starbucks Korea Free to Play Copyrighted Music in Its Outlets without Paying Royalties

eab7b8eba6bc-8A few days ago, Seoul Central Court ruled in favor of Starbucks Korea in a copyright lawsuit filed by the Korea Music Copyright Association alleging the Starbucks Korea should pay royalties in playing copyrighted music in its outlets.  I wrote some posts regarding this issue here and here.  The legal issue was whether playing copyrighted music substitutes a mail business of Starbucks Korea.  That is because current Korean Copyright Act does not have an explicit clause on whether cafes such as Starbucks Korea is free to play copyrighted music(check this post on relevant clauses).  The court ruled in favor of Starbucks Korea saying “playing a copyright music is not a main business of Starbucks Korea.  The fact that playing copyrighted music has some good effects on its product selling is not sufficient to prove playing music is a main business of Starbucks Korea”.

© 2009 Wonil Chung, a Korean entertainment lawyer / Chung & Partners, a Korean Business Law Firm.  All rights reserved.  Some copyrights, photos, icons, trademarks, trade dress, or other commercial symbols that appear on this post are the property of the respective owners.

Leave Your Comment