Melon raided by prosecutors for stealing artists’ money

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Melon raided by prosecutors for stealing artists’ money

Music streaming service Melon was raided by the prosecution last week over accusations that it wrongfully took artists’ copyright fees.

Prosecutors searched Melon’s former office in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, last Monday.

Local reports, citing prosecutors, said that Melon is suspected of wrongfully taking 5 billion won ($4.2 million) of what should have gone to copyright holders using a paper company between 2009 and 2011. This is equivalent to 10 percent to 20 percent of what the artists should have earned. This was when the service was an affiliate under SK Telecom. It was acquired by Kakao in 2016.

“We’re at the stage of understanding what happened,” said a Kakao spokesperson. “But we agree the issue is a grave one and we will do our best to cooperate with the prosecution on the matter.”

The source added that the way Melon is suspected to have used for the scheme was made systematically impossible starting in 2013. That was also the year SK sold off the service to a private equity company.

By Song Kyoung-son
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