After the successful on-line release of G-Dragon’s latest solo album ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ last week, YG Entertainment revealed that the offline version would be released in USB form only and not in the usual CD format.
The decision to release ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ in this unique format has caused debate and controversy about the very definition of an album.
Following the announcement, the Korea Music Content Industry Association responded that G-Dragon’s new album could not be technically acknowledged as an album, and the reason is related to current copyright laws.
According to current copyright law, an “album” is “a physical object that contains music.” Initially, because a USB — like an LP, tape, or CD — is an object that music can be saved to, the Korea Music Content Industry Association was going to approve G-Dragon’s USB as an album.
However, the USB for “Kwon Ji Yong” contains a link to a site where the user can enter the key code printed on the album case to download the album and music video. As there is no music technically on the USB, the Korea Music Content Industry Association considered the device a tool for downloading music rather than the actual album itself.
G-Dragon’s response made via his Instagram page (and translated into English) is below:
“What’s The Problem?
“Is it that, if someone who you don’t even know decides that an artist’s work ‘is an album’ or ‘is not an album’? These are the few songs that I’ve been able to reveal to the world after a long time of thought and deliberation.
“Every time I’m able to hold a new album that’s still in its plastic covering, it’s like a dream. ([Is it an] LP, tape, CD, USB file…etc.) That’s not the point.
“The most important thing isn’t the external packaging or the attractive design, but the music, which can be listened to by anyone, anywhere, where my voice has been recorded: my songs.
“Through your ears, your eyes, your hands, your lips. To be remembered forever in our hearts, unchanging over the course of time.
“Songs, though they may be short, that can be written into the pages of our lives.
“The great melodies and lyrics are everything. Whatever else isn’t important.”
However, the position of the Korea Music Content Industry Association has now altered and they along with the music chart site Hanteo have announced that they will accept and include the USB format of G-Dragon’s album in counting the total album sales.
The change of heart came as a result of a decision to adapt to changes in the music industry.
However, Gaon Chart has refused to accept ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ on USB as an official album and have announced that they will not be including it in the count of album sales.
As a result, of G-Dragon’s “Kwon Ji Yong” not being included in Gaon’s album sales charts, there will be a flow on impact to his rankings for SBS’s “Inkigayo” and MBC’s “Show! Music Core” which take into account the Gaon album chart.
Meanwhile, KBS2 ‘Music Bank’ and Mnet ‘M Countdown’ include the calculations by Hanteo. As a result, there is expected to be a significant difference in the total calculations used by the music shows leading to very different first place announcements.
What do you think, should ‘Kwon Ji Yong’ on USB be included in the total album sales for all charts? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Written and edited by Narelle