A law was recently passed in Korea that is cracking down on sajaegi, or the buying of albums and digital singles in bulk. The law is garnering concern amongst fans, as group purchases fall under the definition of sajaegi as stated in the law.
According to the “Promotion of the Music Industry Legislation” clause of the law, producers and distributors, as well as consumers, can face punishment for the bulk purchase or sale of music. Specifically mentioned in the law is “fan-mobilized group activities through [music] agencies,” leaving people wondering if the fans can be punished for voluntary group consumption of music.
The biggest concern with the law is how it will be interpreted when actually implemented. This is because it is hard to determine whether the group purchases are for the benefit of the company with the shared goal of promoting the artist, or whether they are done out of just being a fan.
A representative for the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism stated on March 3, “The government will be working with representatives from the music industry to arrange guidelines for the application of the law up until it goes into effect. We will make every effort to ensure that the law is enforced according to the process of discussion and to avoid excessive regulation.”
What do you think of the law?