The entertainment licensing fees paid to BMI, ASCAP, etc. will not likely protect you or your business for those who have knowingly hired a PIRATE Karaoke Host. The copies with their music, the photos and lyrics shown on the screen, and also the performances of these works inside your venue, really are illegal.
DJ’s and KJ’s who offer thousands of song selections, and cannot offer proof of these legality, are pirates. YOU, as being a Club, Venue or Event host may be held legally and financially to blame for a pirate’s copyright as well as trademark infringements. A venue bluetooth speaker with microphone bluetooth speaker with microphone
microphone speaker
owner who knowingly hires a contractor that is in violation of the law, risks sanctions such as possible loss of the liquor license. Your Entertainment Licenses won’t cover a Pirate, or help you avoid possible prosecution!
“Individuals or Businesses that have a financial make use of providing a chance for such infringing individuals or businesses to use, develop a liability by themselves and can be found to have vicarious or contributory liability.”
(as quoted straight from: The KIAA WebSite)
It is perfectly up to YOU since the person, or corporate representative accountable for employing said Karaoke Entertainment to look for the legal status of one’s entertainers. The easiest way is usually to view their CD+G Discs, or obtain proof of legal compliance. REAL discs are “original” factory labeled discs, NEVER “burned copies”. If Your Entertainers use digital formats including PC, Laptop, or Hard-drive units, ask to view the original discs which are loaded to their system, or possibly a verifiable digital license. If they hand you excuses, or will not adhere to your reasonable request, you’re ready to wish them well, indicate the mistake of their ways, and say GOOD-BYE!
Note: If you hire an entertainment company that has several KJ’s working with several unique systems, EACH system MUST be supported with it’s own individual set of Factory Original Discs or licensed verifiable copies… if they aren’t, they’re PIRATES! Several systems is not protected by only 1 pair of original discs or one group of licensed verifiable digital copies. It might be expensive, however it is the LAW.
Little known fact:
The alterations in copyright law and “fair use” are on-going. Most legal sources maintain that “fair use” includes the transfer of digital media as: “1 to 1″… HOWEVER the commercial usage of copied (burned) Karaoke CD+Gs is just not legal to be used in venues for profit (even for free drinks)… Commercial for profit Karaoke MUST be either from the Factory Original Discs or from Licensed Digital Copies ONLY.
In closing, please remember… Hiring a “PIRATE” karaoke provider may help you save a bit money in the short term, but getting depressed by the legal problems of the law suit will almost always be more trouble than it’s worth!