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N.Y. Koreatown Karaoke Bars Sued Over Music

The Korea Times, News Report, No-Yeol Kim Posted: Jun 25, 2009

NEW YORK American performance rights organizations, including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) are cracking down on several karaoke bars on 32nd Street in Manhattan's Koreatown for the use of unauthorized music, reports the Korea Times.

For months, ASCAP and BMI have sent out fine notices to businesses that have been using music commercially without permission. The fine ranges from $1,000 to tens of thousands of dollars based on the size of businesses, the duration of unauthorized use and the number of karaoke machines. One business, called "A Karaoke," which had been sued by a copyright organization while negotiating to reduce fines with them, was ordered to pay more than $40,000.

According to the Korea Times, the music industry started to keep an eye on businesses in Koreatown two or three years ago, when the area became popular with young Americans.

Most Korean business owners don't have a clear understanding of U.S. copyright law, according to one caf owner.

American performance rights organizations require fees for businesses that repeatedly use their music for profit.






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