China IPR clampdown targets karaoke royalties

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Jan 3 – As far as New Year’s resolutions go, China is looking to further crack down on intellectual property rights violations as is seeks to burnish its image as a IPR wasteland where anyone can borrow, beg or steal someone else’s hard earned intellectual property.

Xinhua reported yesterday that nearly half of Chinese provinces have taken initiatives to collect karaoke copyright royalties by the end of 2007.

China Audio and Video Association (CAVA) and China Copyright Society of Works of Music (CCSWM) said 15 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Guangdong and Jiangsu, had so far agreed to pay copyright royalties, and the practice should be spread nationwide.

According to the report, karaoke operators are required to pay a daily charge of 12 yuan ($1.6) for each karaoke room for the use of musical and video products, as stated in a National Copyright Administration notice in November 2006.

Lv Wenju, spokesman with the CAVA and the CCSWM, told Xinhua that the associations would accelerate IPR protection campaigns, and resort to court proceedings against illegal use of the songs.

Yunnan Province had recently found a case of illegally copying of a 20,000-song-database. The two suspects have been taken into custody. The other 16 Chinese provinces have plans to implement IPR for karaoke performances, but no timetable has been provided as to when this will be carried out.