Korea World's No.2 in Online Music Piracy

Korea is the world's second largest illegal downloader of music files, a survey shows. Citing the survey of 8,500 people in 13 countries, Jasper Donat, president of Hong Kong-based Music Matters, said Sunday that China illegally downloaded more music than any other country last year, followed by Korea.

The results of the survey were presented at the 2010 Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale (MIDEM) trade fair, the world's biggest music industry conference, which opened in Cannes, France, on Sunday. Twenty-nine percent of the survey's respondents admitted to downloading a song illegally, Donat said.

Illegal downloading of music is a global problem. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said in a report released last week that sales of the global recording industry dwindled 30 percent between 2004 and 2009 mainly due to rampant piracy. The federation estimates that 95 percent of the music downloaded last year was illegal.

But Korea's Culture Ministry downplayed the survey on Monday, saying that it was unreliable since it only involved 13 countries and it even defines free music streaming from legal sites as illegal downloading.

Meanwhile, another survey shows that Korea is the world's seventh largest online search market. U.S. research company ComScore said Friday that the number of searches in Korea grew 44 percent to 4.04 billion in December 2009 from December 2008.

The U.S. took first place with 22.74 billion searches and China second with nearly 13.28 billion. Japan (9.17 billion) ranked third, followed by the U.K. (6.25 billion), Germany (5.61 billion) and France (5.43 billion).

Google is the world's leading search engine, accounting for nearly 67 percent of the global market with 87.8 billion searches. Korea's NHN came in sixth with nearly 2.07 billion searches.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 26, 2010 09:06 KST