Everyone from Hollywood to Congress has been pressing China to get serious about the illegal use of music, movies and software. Now, it has picked a crackdown target: karaoke.
If royalties were collected in China, the music industry could make as much as $375 million a year from karaoke parlors. That’s more than it currently makes in the country from selling CDs because they’re so frequently pirated.
The industry has sent hundreds of warning letters to Chinese karaoke bars asking for compensation, and in 2004 even won cases that set a legal precedent for karaoke copyrights in Chinese courts. But it still couldn’t collect much money through civil lawsuits. In response, China’s government announced the first outlines of its plan to start collecting royalties — and possibly make money for itself in the process. [Full Text, subscribers only]
– Also LA Times’ China’s censors shine spotlight on karaoke