After four years of dispute, the KTV Royalties Collection Authority has made a breakthrough.
In Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, the authority's first fees were collected on February 12.
The Yunnan office of the China Audio and Video Collective Management Association has released the names list of the twelve KTV clubs who have signed-for and paid royalties. Another 30 KTV owners have expressed their willingness to sign the contract. The National Copyright Administration (NCA) has decided that it will charge 8 yuan per KTV room per day to the twelve signatories as a reward, instead of the stipulated 12 yuan.
One KTV manager, Xie Yongjun said collecting copyright fees from KTV clubs is a way of showing respect for musicians' work and IPR, surely a positive measure for regulating the development of the KTV industry. Though running costs have risen, the extra costs, he promised, will not be passed on to customers.
In 2004, fifty famous music record companies sent attorney letters to 12,000 KTV managers, calling for them to pay copyright fees and stop infringing the rights to their music. Two years later, the NCA published a draft standard of 12 yuan per KTV room per day, stipulating that KTV club owners would pay this copyright fee once a year.
Representatives of the clubs and the copyright-holders took a different view at a National Copyright Administration (NCA) symposium on KTV copyright fees. Some of the owners of songs and music videos said that the draft standard was still too low, but that they were prepared to accept it since, in the past, they had received little or no payment. Some KTV bosses, meanwhile, said the fee was too high - that 1 yuan per room per day was more appropriate.
There are about 100,000 KTV clubs in China, the National Copyright Administration has said the new policy will be trialed in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou before being implemented cross the country.
(CRI.cn February 14, 2007)