Running a Compliant Karaoke Business: Copyright Laws for Music

Many people think that running a karaoke show is an easy way to make money, but reality is; there are lots of upfront and ongoing expenses involved— if you run a legal karaoke operation that is!

Sadly, I have found that many venue owners have hired Karaoke Pirates due to their heavily discounted pricing, huge number of song choices and large followings of local karaoke singers.

I have personal friends and businesses I deal with in both the music and karaoke industries— and the word out there is that compliant operators, professional musicians and suppliers are sick and tired of music copyright laws being blatantly breached. I strongly believe that Music Rights Australia and Apra will act only once enough complaints come in from the public about illegally performed karaoke music. Of course, any breaches of music copyright in general should be reported, but this website is specifically about karaoke.

I have done my very best to bring awareness to the issue of karaoke / music piracy to the public karaoke foreground before the proverbial *hit finally hits the fan— exactly what you all decide to do with it now is entirely up to you as my prime focus will soon be on the venues!

Why Should Karaoke Enthusiasts Care If their Local karaoke Show is Compliant or Not?

I guess many karaoke singers don't really think about it too much and are happy just singing at the venues they frequently go to— and don't consider Karaoke Piracy as a big deal. However keep in mind that both the venue and illegal host make a *hit-load of money but the artists that originally created the music that you love to perform at karaoke, is being totally ripped off! Nice one!

Only compensation is, that eventually the venue and pirate will get a nice hefty lawsuit from Apra but at least the artist’s royalties will be paid then. I guess that some people (businesses) only learn the hard way!

Last Call
If you are compliant KJ let me know and I will happily create
a profile page for you and promote your services to the venues.

*Simply fill in your details below and hit submit!

Karaoke Operator (KJ) Details

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If you are not compliant
I strongly advise that you clean up your act as you have been warned!

Cases of Copyright Laws for Music Infringement Lawsuits  

There’s been quite a few cases of copyright laws for music infringement lawsuits over the years— from Metallica versus Napster in 2000 for copying and sharing their music illegally to Australia’s Ed Sheeran being sued $US20 million more recently for “verbatim, note-for-note copying”.

Karaoke involves singing along with recorded music using a teleprompter (lyrics on a screen) whereby the artist’s copyrighted works are performed. Everything about the songs are part of copyright law including how often they are played, where they are played, how they’re sung and if the performance is recorded.
Any business using karaoke is subject to very specific legal regulations.

Why & How Do Copyright Laws for Music Apply to Venues?

Bars, clubs and restaurants have karaoke for one main reason. Profits! Karaoke is popular and known to be very profitable, often bringing in crowds that spend money over the bar on nights that may otherwise be very quiet.

Karaoke is often viewed by everyone including professional musicians and singers as just for fun— a social activity that people just do. Many don’t realise that karaoke is also subject to copyright laws for music in the same way as it is for when a band or singer(s) perform cover songs at a venue. Song writers, musicians and singers copyright both the music & lyrics to protect their creative original works including ownership on how their lyrics and music are used. Karaoke licensing (copyright laws for music ) falls under this umbrella.

Although some venue owners use their own karaoke machines and run the karaoke entertainment in house, most hire a KJ or Karaoke Jockey (operator) to run the whole show from start to finish including provision of professional karaoke machine, software, lighting and music. A professional reputable karaoke show of four to five hours duration can cost anywhere from $300 per night to about $600 per night (give or take).

Need more information? 
Music Rights Australia   (02) 8569 1177
APRA|AMCOS    (02) 9935 7900
PPCA    (02) 8569 1111