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Yunnan KTVs threatened over copyright violations

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More than 100 karaoke establishments in Kunming and elsewhere in Yunnan have been threatened with a lawsuit by a mainland entertainment industry association for failing to pay copyright fees for music played in their facilities, according to a Xinhua report.

The China Audio-Video Copyright Association (中国音像著作权集体管理协会, or CAVCA) sent legal notice to karaoke – also known as KTV – venues in Yunnan demanding that they pay copyright fees immediately or face legal action.

A full list of the violators who had been served legal notice was not provided, but a few were mentioned in the Xinhua report, including Kunming Modern Holiday KTV, Xiongye Hotel's Dihao Shengdian KTV, Zhujiangyuan Hotel's Longge Yingxiang KTV and Panlong Jiuge KTV.

The notice sent to the KTV clubs read: "Without obtaining permission from the copyright holders and with operating profits in mind, you have used audio and video programs belonging to the trustors without authorization, severely infringing upon the legal rights of the copyright holders that constitutes a rights violation. We request that you immediately cease infringing upon the rights of the copyright holders."

After being threatened with legal action, some of the KTV outlets have expressed interest in paying copyright fees.

A spokesperson for CAVCA's Kunming office said that the 100+ copyright violators in Yunnan were but a fraction of the actual number of violators, and that the association's objective was not to sue KTV establishments but to raise awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights among Yunnan's entertainment industry.

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