[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Music for masses isn’t freeRegarding the article “Anthem’s price irks listeners” (Feb. 21), I would like to say, speaking as a composer and arranger, it is entirely proper that the family of Ahn Eak-tai should receive royalties for the music that he composed, even if that music is now used as the national anthem of Korea. The Korea Music Copyright Association performs an important task for its many members, who are legally due royalties for their hard work and inspiration.
It is only natural that working composers and arrangers should be paid for their work, regardless of the work or its usage. There seems to be an attitude in Korea that intellectual property is somehow not as important as tangible property, but all things in life begin as a thought; thus, without recognizing the importance of this basic fact, nothing could be created or achieved.
Those who complain about paying for the music they listen to should remember that even a musician or composer has to eat and the work of their hands and heart is as precious as the rice of the field.
by Ronn Branton