The entertainment licensing fees paid to BMI, ASCAP, etc. won’t protect you or your business if you have knowingly hired a PIRATE Karaoke Host. The copies of these music, the images and lyrics shown on the screen, and also the performances of these works with your venue, truly are illegal.
DJ’s and KJ’s who offer a large number of song selections, and can’t offer proof of these legality, are pirates. YOU, like a Club, Venue or Event host might be held legally and financially responsible for a pirate’s copyright or trademark infringements. A venue owner who knowingly hires a contractor that is in violation in the law, risks sanctions like the possible loss of these liquor license. Your Entertainment Licenses won’t cover a Pirate, or save you from possible prosecution!
“Individuals or Businesses that have a very financial reap the benefits of providing a chance for such infringing individuals or businesses to use, produce a liability for themselves which enable it to be found to possess vicarious or contributory liability.”
(as quoted straight from: The KIAA WebSite)
It is up to YOU because the person, or corporate representative responsible for employing said Karaoke Entertainment to check the legal status of one’s entertainers. The easiest way is usually to view their CD+G Discs, or request evidence of legal compliance. REAL discs are “original” factory labeled discs, NEVER “burned copies”. If Your Entertainers use digital formats such as PC, Laptop, or Hard-drive units, ask
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to find out the main discs that have been loaded into their system, or possibly a verifiable digital license. If they hand you excuses, or won’t abide by your reasonable request, you need to wish them well, indicate the mistake of these ways, and say GOOD-BYE!
Note: If you hire an entertainment company containing several KJ’s utilizing a number of different systems, EACH system MUST be supported with it’s own individual set of Factory Original Discs or licensed verifiable copies… whenever they aren’t, they’re PIRATES! Several systems is not protected by merely one list of original discs or one set of licensed verifiable digital copies. It could possibly be expensive, but it is the LAW.
Little known fact:
The modifications 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 utilization of copied (burned) Karaoke CD+Gs isn’t legal for use 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 save a bit cash in the short term, but getting caught up in the legal problems of the law suit can be more trouble than it’s worth!