You might have heard about the royalty fees being imposed on karaoke establishments, where the proposed amount was 12 yuan per room per day. Karaoke businesses across China have reacted negatively against the proposed fees, arguing that it was too high and that something along the lines of one yuan per room per day would be more acceptable. The debate heated up on November 20, when one of the entertainment associations in Guangzhou stated publicly that they would refuse to pay what they consider an exorbitant fee and find what legal recourse they could. Later, Beijing and now Shanghai organizations have stated their support for Guangzhou’s position. Zhu Nan, an official with one of the organizations, said that they support royalty fees as long as the amount asked for is reasonable, and believe that the number ought to be the 1 yuan per room per day. It seems that fees have not been raised in Shanghai thus far (but we haven’t asked around or been to a karaoke place in awhile). Whose interests are really at stake here? They say it’s for the copyright owners of the songs — is that true? Whose pockets are really being lined? And what about the little guy (and girl)? The little guy that can’t sing worth shit? Who’s looking for his interest?
Photo from stridli’s Flickr page.