China's two largest music copyright bodies are setting up a bank of copyright music videos to control their use and to help collect royalties from Karaoke (KTV).
Containing domestic and foreign works, the bank will include all videos administered by the two organizations and cover 90 percent of all popular songs, according to the announcement from the China Audio and Video Association (CAVA) and Music Copyright Society of China (MCSC).
KTV bars and software providers are banned from copying or showing music videos or music products administered by the two organizations without permission, said the announcement.
"Anyone using the music videos or products without permission will face severe penalties for violating China's copyright law," the statement said.
In December, the CAVA announced it would charge KTV bars for using music videos from Jan. 1 this year despite widespread opposition from bar owners. The ceiling rate for each private KTV room was set at 12 yuan (1.5 U.S. dollars) per day by the National Copyright Administration on Nov. 9.
KTV bar owners, especially those in Guangzhou and Shanghai, have boycotted the royalty scheme, branding it "illegal and unreasonable".
Last month, 12 bars in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, took the lead in paying the royalties, but only about 40 of China's ubiquitous KTV bars have joined them, sources with the CAVA said.
The CAVA and MCSC also promised to frequent updates of new songs in the bank to satisfy demand.
The bank would help protect the legitimate rights of copyright owners, according to the announcement.
(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2007)