THE LATEST Karaoke News
Cracks Down on Copyright Infringement
Hurts Music Industry
U.S. Marshals Seize Karaoke Disks:
NY - March 14, 2001
MI - March 14, 2001
-Raids Net Counterfeit Karaoke Discs:
Kapa Crosses Border
on Copyright Infringement
Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario- June 9, 2001
of the June 9, 2001 Bust
UK Copyright Infringement Brings Stiff Penalties
Lands $1 Million Karaoke Deal
Drowns out Tornado Warnings
Maker Dead Serious About Karaoke
Star Makeovers - Karaoke has its Privileges
Healey Opens Toronto Nightclub with Karaoke
Shot as Karaoke Song Triggers "Instant Hit"
Monks Defrocked by Wine, Women and Song
Cop Proves Karaoke Can Kill
William a Karaoke King
Rocks in Kampala
Asians of the 20th Century
Start A Karaoke League
- Thousands of Japanese Afflicted
Karaoke Distribution Service for I-Appli
Court Finds AOL Guilty of Internet Piracy
& Artist Protection - Impact on Karaoke
Songs Sparks Deadly Barroom Brawl
Puts Karaoke Machine in Church
Taxi Keeps Passengers Amused
Firm WOWs the Web - EatSleepMusic.Com
Funeral for Drowned Friends
Site Music to Amateurs`Ears
KAPA CRACKS DOWN ON
KARAOKE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Rochester, NY (March
December of 2000, a private investigator representing KAPA engaged in conversation with Karaoke host Andy Schneider
at a Restaurant/Bar in Rochester, NY. During the course of the conversation, Andy offered to
burn copies of the CDGs for the investigator. During subsequent conversations, Andy was given a cash
advance towards the completion of the job.
in conjunction with the NY State Police and the Monroe County
Assistant District Attorney, the investigator made arrangements
to meet Schneider at his residence and finalize the transaction. On January 29, 2001, Andrew Schneider completed the sale of
115 counterfeit CDGs with the private investigator. Once the CDGs were identified as counterfeit,
the NY State Police arrested Schneider at his residence. He has been charged with Trademark Counterfeiting in
the 3rd Degree. The trial date has not been set as of
this posting. KAPA is
seeking full restitution for the cost of the investigation and
for lost revenue.
MI (March 14, 2001)
a result of tips to KAPA, investigators representing KAPA, discovered
a karaoke host using illegal copies of CDGs in her show. After investigating this host, the investigator reported this
illegal activity to the authorities. On March 1, 2001 US Marshalls
seized 49 counterfeit CDGs from Ms. Speigel during her show
in Detroit, MI. Speigel, who is co-partners with Platinum Entertainment,
was served with a complaint, motion, order, writ and summons. Ms. Speigel admitted that she was aware
the CDGs were copies. The
illegal copies were seized and will be held as evidence pending
court action. Speigal
purchased the copied CDGs from another source. Further investigations and actions are forthcoming. This case is very early in the litigation
stage. Updates on this
case and others will be posted at www.karaokeantipiracyagency.com.
Hurts Music Firms
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - More than $3 billion in lost revenue will slip through
the hands of major recording labels by 2005.
does piracy affect everyone?
many people fail to realize is that the harm caused by
piracy affects more than they may think. It affects the U.S.
economy - with a 27% piracy rate in the United States, the economic
effects are significant - in 1998, there was a loss of over
25,000 jobs and a loss of over US $400 million in tax revenues
as a result of piracy.
is stealing and the more revenue that is lost because of stolen
goods, the less that can be spent by companies for further research
and development for new products and new innovations. Everyone
suffers from the acts of a few.
KAPA fully supports SDMI efforts to develop open technology specifications that protect
the playing, storing, and distributing of digital music to insure
that the creators of content are compensated and that the future
for the creative arts is protected.
Shot as Karaoke Song Triggers Instant Hit
- There was a whole new meaning given to the term hit song
on Thursday when a middle-aged Japanese carpenter was arrested
for allegedly shooting his drinking buddy in an argument over
a karaoke song.
Yokohama arrested Shigeru Yoshida, 51, and found a revolver
in bushes near his house, a police spokesman said.
admitted the shooting," spokesman Fujiyasu Otaka told AFP.
and 53-year-old taxi driver Genshou Shimajiri were drinking
at a karaoke bar in Yokohama late on Wednesday and started fighting
over who would sing the next song, the spokesman said.
and Shimajiri are drinking friends. They got into a fight over
who got to sing a karaoke song," he said.
the bar, Shimajiri hit Yoshida with a beer bottle, injuring
his head really badly."
then summoned his drinking mate outside the bar to a nearby
parking lot and shot him several times, the spokesman said.
did not think the fight was still on when he was called outside,"
driver was seriously injured with wounds to his abdomen and
right arm and would need to be hospitalised for three to six
months, the spokesman said.
are investigating the case, including how Yoshida obtained the
gun," he added.
in Asia's late-night bars appears to be becoming an increasingly
A Thai policeman
last June confessed to shooting one man and attempting to kill
another in a Bangkok bar because they booed when he got up to
sing the same number for a third time. - Sapa-AFP
Monks Defrocked by Wine, Women & Song - Oct. 30, 2000
- A rash of scandals involving senior Buddhist monks caught
carousing in karaoke bars, driving luxury cars and hiring prostitutes
is threatening to destroy confidence in the religion in Thailand...
Cop A Karaoke Killer - June 29 2000
- A Thai policeman has confessed to shooting one man and
attempting to kill another because they booed his karaoke performance,
police said on Thursday.
Corporal Jirawat Sangworn, 25, has admitted both charges, claiming
he was provoked by the victims name-calling when he was about
to sing the same song for the third time in a row.
suspect confessed that he just could not stand for their teasing,"
a police spokesperson said.
had been singing karaoke in the early hours of Wednesday in
Bangkok's Huay Kwang district, a major nightlife area filled
with massive karaoke clubs. - Source Sapa-AFP
William a Karaoke King - April
England - April 2, 2000 Britain's Prince William gave his
own version of a Royal Command Performance when he took part
in a karaoke competition in a hotel bar, it emerged on Sunday.
shy 17-year-old joined three classmates from Eton for a version
of the Village People disco era classic YMCA at the Crossways
Hotel in Thornley, England.
John Hudson said: "William and 40 other boys from Eton
were staying here during a four-day geography field trip to
the Newcastle area of northern England, including an inner city
housing estate and a plant in South Shields.
Thursday night we were holding our usual karaoke evening when
William leant over to me and suggested we make it into a challenge
match with the Eton pupils representing the South and our regulars
representing the North.
and his friends took centre stage for one of the songs and they
all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. William just acted
like one of the crowd. He's a very polite, quiet and likeable
pupils and their five teachers were staying at the two-star
Crossways Hotel during the field trip and were allowed to join
patrons for evenings at the bar for an hour before bed.
"The behaviour of the boys was impeccable. They got on
splendidly with the locals and there was certainly no drunkenness
or bad behaviour.
and his friends were very good and got a huge cheer when they
finished. They didn't do the actions to the song because they
seemed to be concentrating on the words too hard."
an official response, a spokeswoman for St James's Palace said
it would be "churlish" to deny that the young prince
took part in the karaoke session but would give no further comment
as he was on his own private time. - Source -
Rocks in Kampala - October 11 1999
- Ugandan evangelists have found a new set of allies in
their battle to convert the people - discos, nightclubs and
the annual gospel and evangelical extravaganza, undertaken jointly
by the churches, has moved away from its home at the Kampala
Pentecostal Church. It was instead held at Sabrina's Pub, a
karaoke nightclub. Organisers said by taking it to the nightclub
they sought to reach people who normally don't go to church.
is also being taken to discotheques. Beginning this month, Club
Silk - one of the top joints in Kampala - will host a 'Gospel
Night' every last Sunday of the month to enable "good church-going
folks to get together, enjoy the best Gospel music and make
new friends of like mind"...........
Asians of the 20th century - August 15 1999
Kong - Time magazine has named Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot,
Japanese karaoke inventor Daisuke Inoue and exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader the Dalai Lama among the most influential Asians of the
Start Karaoke League
Kingdom - Pool and darts teams in Stockport's pubs will
be joined by teams of singers for the town's first pub karaoke
of the Blue Bell in Edgeley, Quentin McDonald has set up the
nine-pub league along with Mark Botham who runs the local pub
guide. The first games are set for September 4.
will have four singers - and there will be home and away legs.
told Ananova: "Deep down, I think we would all like karaoke
to go quietly away, but it's good for trade."
"It will be much, much better than the Eurovision Song
Contest and there will be less politics involved in the judging.
of Japanese Suffer from 'Karaoke-phobia'
- Karaoke fans may be harming themselves, as well as anyone
within ear shot, when they take to the stage.
thousands of people suffer from "karaoke-phobia",
reports the South China Morning Post. Sufferers fear the dreaded
machine so much that they become ill when faced with one.
a professional singer, told the paper that around 600 people
have turned to him for help with their voices.
it is not only "karaoke-phobes" that can suffer. Keito
University Hospital in Tokyo says ten per cent of patients suffering
"throat polyps" have contracted them through singing
condition is common among professionals who use their voices
a lot. But now doctors, who blame dry air and the consumption
of alcohol for its rise, commonly discuss "karaoke polyps".
Starts Karaoke Distribution for I-Appli
9, 2001 (TOKYO) -- Yamaha Corp. on March 5 started a new
karaoke music distribution service compliant with "i-Appli,"
a service offered through Java-applications for "i-mode"
Inc. unveiled the Java-compliant i-mode handset in January 2001.
charge for Yamaha's new service is 100 yen (approximately US$0.83
at 119.70 yen = US$1) for unlimited use.
As the karaoke
music is downloaded in the form of streaming data, the received
music data cannot be stored within the users' cellular phones.
is offering the service for two models of i-mode mobile phone,
"F503i" and "P503i." More i-Appli-compliant
models will be available for the service on demand.
music list will consist of 120 pieces in total by the end of
March 2001. The latest popular songs in Japan, which are enjoyed
as "J-Pop" among Japanese youngsters, will make up
most of the list. At the start of this service, Yamaha prepared
60 hit songs including "M" by Ayumi Hamasaki and "Love
Machine" by Morning Musume.
Court Finds AOL Guilty of Internet Piracy
09, 2001 -
online copyright protection may have been bolstered by a German
appeals court, which has upheld a ruling against America Online
(NYSE: AOL - news) that found the Internet giant responsible
for pirated material swapped on its service.
Rich D'Amato told NewsFactor Network that AOL would seek another
appeal: "We have not yet received the court's judgment.
At present, it appears that the judge has replaced the well-established
legal principle of 'notice and take down' with a standard that
goes well beyond that."
district court ruling Friday upheld the determination of a Bavarian
state court in Munich last April that Internet service providers
(ISPs) are responsible for pirated material traded on their
contended that when AOL is made aware that a third party has
transferred illegal content via their service, they block access
as soon as possible. This fact would be a part of their appeal,
he told NewsFactor.
in the case was a German music company, Hit Box Software, which
sued AOL Germany for copyright violation when users swapped
illegally copied music files via AOL's online service. The Munich
court also set up payment guidelines for damages.
claimed that three instrumental versions of pop hits, among
them "Get Down" by the BackStreet Boys, were downloaded
at least a thousand times on AOL in 1997, according to media
recordings were meant for karaoke tracks, which Hit Box sells
on CD for US$15. The company was seeking a reported $50,000
in damages but the decision Friday put off any ruling for damage
In a related
matter that may point to a growing chasm between U.S. and European
legal treatment of ISP responsibility, a Florida Supreme Court
ruled for AOL Thursday, stating that ISPs are not responsible
for material created by their customers. The high-profile case
involved the much more heinous crime of a videotaped child molestation
being peddled via an AOL chat room.
to Black Market
the case shows a growing impatience by courts for pirated material,
the easiest of which to propagate online are music files.
notorious of all swapping sagas, of course, is that of Napster,
which just this week lost its famous case to the major record
labels for copyright infringement.
& Artist Protections Issues...Impact on Karaoke
Los Angeles - 3/29/01
& Artist Protections Issues...some impact on karaoke (as
far as who would get to control publishing rights).
Stars Challenge Music Labels' Business Practices
is brewing in the music business, pitting some of the world's
biggest stars against the conglomerates that employ them.
Dozens of major artists are mobilizing to take on the music
establishment, demanding better contracts, beefed-up copyright
protection and free-agency status. They are exploring formation
of a labor union to provide health-care and pension benefits
and fighting for new rules on ownership of their creative material.
Angeles-based artist coalition is preparing to lobby Congress
to look into what some call the unconscionable business practices
of the Big Five music companies.
virtually every genre of popular music are stepping forward,
including Don Henley, Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Sam
Moore and Courtney Love.
artists prevail, their collective bargaining efforts would radically
rewrite the economics of the music business in the same way
that unionizing actors and baseball players revolutionized the
film and sports industries. And though stars are leading this
effort, the fundamental changes they are seeking could have
a profound effect on every recording artist.
nearly impossible to imagine a music business where recording
artists have bargaining clout," said Michael Nathanson,
a media analyst at investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein &
Co. "It would cause the traditional economic model to collapse.
The industry as we know it would cease to exist."
Don Henley, co-founder of the Recording Artists Coalition, which
represents dozens of stars, including Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell,
Q-Tip and Peggy Lee, said: "Record companies have been
screwing artists for ages. It's time we organize and fight back.
We've got our own trade group now. We're going to Washington."
Labels Say System Makes Sense
executives representing the five largest record companies declined
to comment for this article, privately they maintain that the
economic structure of the industry makes sense and is fair to
John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), a ranking member of the House Judiciary
Committee, said lawmakers are interested in examining artist
rights issues. "The rights of artists in the contract and
bargaining progress with respect to copyrights, health-care
coverage and other issues is a discussion that is not only worth
having, it is long overdue," Conyers said.
Artists Coalition is considering joining forces with Artists
Against Piracy, a Los Angeles-based organization headed by singer-songwriter
Noah Stone that represents 90 acts, such as Herbie Hancock,
Shelby Lynne, Bon Jovi and the Dixie Chicks. Stone launched
Artists Against Piracy to fight for digital copyright protection
and is now expanding into other artist rights issues.
effort is being forged by Courtney Love. The rock singer and
actress captured the industry's attention last month when she
sued to break her contract with Vivendi Universal, the world's
largest record conglomerate. She is hoping to use the lawsuit
to expose the industry's "corrupt" accounting practices,
claiming the labels deduct exorbitant fees for product breakage
and promotional giveaways and pay reduced royalty rates for
albums sold overseas and in record clubs.
her lawsuit, Love has received hundreds of e-mails from prominent
artists, including Prince, in support of her petition calling
for a labor union to help music acts secure pension plans and
health benefits packages and regain ownership of their recordings.
Existing unions representing musicians largely focus on session
singers and the live-performing end of the business and not
on recording artists. Recording musicians receive few benefits.
for recording artists could force changes to the controversial
accounting methods under which companies "underpay artists
as an institutional practice," said attorney John Branca,
who represents such acts as TLC and Michael Jackson. "With
strike leverage, artists could attain free agency."
began to organize after discovering that lobbyists for the Recording
Industry Assn. of America, the political arm of the nation's
five largest music conglomerates, had persuaded lawmakers to
quietly insert an amendment in a bill that would prevent music
acts from regaining control of their recordings in the future.
Artists Coalition members and other artists protested and successfully
lobbied Congress to repeal the amendment.
industry group's chief, Hilary Rosen, declined to comment.
Artists Coalition, which is scheduled to appear Tuesday before
the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about digital copyright
issues, is building a $5-million fund through benefit concerts
for the purpose of lobbying lawmakers on artist-rights issues.
But that money, Henley acknowledges, is just a sliver of the
$40 million amassed last year by the recording industry, some
of which was used to push its agenda on Capitol Hill.
music executives scoffed at the criticisms raised by Love, Henley
artists voluntarily sign "industry-standard" recording
agreements and are paid fair royalties based on "time-honored
industry accounting practices."
is stacked in favor of the labels, executives said, because
the companies sink enormous amounts of capital into developing
and marketing new artists, few of whom ever make money. Without
long-term contracts, music chiefs said, companies would have
no incentive to underwrite the risky enterprise in which only
5% of the 3,000 albums released last year turned a profit.
so many records fail, the standard contract is structured to
allow labels to extract much of their earnings from the handful
of blockbuster albums each year. And what complaining artists
fail to consider, executives said, is that the cost of doing
business is skyrocketing. According to label chiefs, the price
of signing talent, producing videos, promoting records and inking
joint ventures has nearly tripled in recent years, squeezing
profit margins in a business already threatened by encroaching
contract, executives said, is not set in stone. Labels typically
renegotiate a new deal immediately after an artist scores a
hit, offering huge advances and higher royalty rates in exchange
for additional albums. If the act's follow-up album tanks, executives
said, the company eats the loss, which often runs into millions
stars with successful track records said they are happy with
their companies. Acts at the top of the food chain--such as
U2, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan--have been able to renegotiate
lucrative pacts with eight-figure advances that allow them to
reclaim ownership of their recordings and publishing rights.
characterize the complaints as sour grapes from a collection
of aging, over-the-hill acts whose recent albums have failed
in the marketplace.
analysts, however, said the unionizing effort could significantly
alter entry-level contract terms for young music groups.
I don't have any love for record company practices, but costs
are so high now that most of these public conglomerates are
struggling just to make their quarterly numbers," said
attorney Don Passman, who represents R.E.M. and Janet Jackson.
"The fact is companies these days often have to invest
$750,000 to $1 million per act before they learn whether they're
going to earn a penny in profit. And it's no secret how few
artists actually succeed."
has no sympathy for those who run the record companies.
do the guys running these labels get away with a 95% failure
rate that would be totally unacceptable in any other type of
business?" Love asked. "I'll tell you how: because
they pay artists only a tiny fraction of the billions that their
music generates. That's what allows so many overpaid executives
to be so incredibly sloppy in running these public companies."
It's a business
model rooted in what Love calls an illegal industry-standard
contract that requires artists to underwrite their own recordings,
videos, advertising, marketing, promotion and tour support before
they are paid royalties. The contract, she said, typically keeps
artists tied to a single label their entire career, while preventing
them from ever owning their own music.
the plight of recording artists to that of movie stars before
the founding of the Screen Actors Guild and baseball players
before they launched their union. Without collective bargaining
clout, Love said, artists will never obtain health benefits
or pension plans or be able to stand up in any way to the Big
Five music conglomerates, which she said work together as an
unlawful trust restraining trade and competition. Many of Love's
of Artists Are Unprotected, Some Say
that while studio singers are represented by the American Federation
of Television and Radio Artists, or AFTRA, and instrumentalists
are represented by the American Federation of Musicians, there
has never been an organization looking out exclusively for the
interests of recording artists. Recording artists said those
unions are eager to collect dues from recording acts who perform
on TV or in clubs, but reluctant to provide health benefits
or pension funds as spelled out under their charters.
we need a real union to fight for our rights?" asked singer
Sam Moore of the legendary 1960s soul duo Sam & Dave. "Damn
right we do!"
Moore, whose recordings have generated tens of millions of dollars
in the last four decades, has been locked in a lengthy legal
battle with AFTRA's pension arm trying to recover unpaid pension
funds. The entertainer, who filed his AFTRA suit along with
the heirs of Curtis Mayfield and half a dozen other soul stars,
said he still must tour regularly to make ends meet.
luckier than most. Soul singer Jackie Wilson was buried without
a headstone. Motown stars Mary Wells and Florence Ballard (one
of the original Supremes) both died as welfare recipients.
Roll Hall of Famers Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf lived in destitute
conditions, abandoned by the same industry that now sings their
ones making the music aren't the ones making the money,"
said 63-year-old country legend Merle Haggard in an interview
from his touring bus. "Let me tell you how it works: The
artist pays for everything and ends up with nothing. The big
boys with the cigars, they get it all."
has scored dozens of hits on the country chart since he broke
into the business 40 years ago, generating millions of dollars
for the industry. Haggard said several labels have swindled
him since he signed his original deal in 1962--a contract under
which he collected just a nickel per album after the company
extracted advances for studio, promotion and touring costs.
only do they cheat you on the way in," Haggard said, "they
rob you on the way out.
songwriter Tom Waits said his first contract paid him only about
15 cents per copy sold in the United States. "I've spent
more time in court than I have in the studio and more money
on lawyers than I have on engineers. So what does that tell
you?" Waits asked.
thing is very unfair, and the companies know it. You're very
young when they push this contract in front of you. It's like
you're some 15-year-old girl, and everybody's saying, 'Baby,
you're so beautiful. Please, come join our modeling agency.'
All you see is runways and makeup and sequins and hair spray.
You have no idea what you're signing."
contract that most artists are asked to sign requires them to
deliver at least seven albums. Considering that companies typically
insist on a two-year gap between album releases, the standard
deal usually commits an artist to a label for at least 14 years--the
span of most music careers.
Love and other artists intend to lobby Congress members to pass
legislation making California's "seven-year" statute,
under which entertainers cannot be tied to any company for more
than seven years, a federal law. The California statute was
instituted 50 years ago after a legal battle by film star Olivia
de Havilland to free actors from long-term studio deals but
has never been tested in the music business. The law would,
in essence, introduce free agency into the music business.
testing the law, record companies have typically rewritten the
contracts of disgruntled stars, offering concessions. Earlier
showdowns about the statute--including cases by Henley and Tom
Petty--were averted when the artists were persuaded to settle
out of court for multimillion-dollar advances.
one of the first stars to tangle with the industry during his
late-1970s legal battle with MCA Records, supports expanding
the seven-year statute nationwide and endorses the concept of
forming a recording artist trade group or union. He cautions,
however, that implementing the plan will be not be easy.
really hard to get artists to do anything together for the collective
good," Petty said. "When I was out there fighting
my battle, it was very lonely. . . .
fact is once you decide to try to set a precedent, you're no
longer just fighting the company that hired you. You're fighting
all of them. This kind of thing could end up costing some very
powerful people a whole bunch of money. And these aren't the
kind of guys who just roll over. . . . They keep an entire legal
team on staff and attorneys on retainer just to scare folks
like us off. . . . It's going to be a long, hard fight ahead."
Sparks Deadly Barroom Brawl
ISLAND, Fla. (Reuters) : A raunchy karaoke performance at
a saloon in east-central Florida sparked a barroom brawl in
which one person was
fatally stabbed and another was injured, police said Thursday.
dispute began when a patron at the Smokehouse Saloon in Merritt
performed an obscene karaoke version of a Guns 'N' Roses song,
the Jungle," Brevard County sheriff's agents said. "He
was substituting some vulgar language and some people got upset," Sheriff's
Agent Lucille Ross said.
patrons, the karaoke operator, the bar owner and the bar owner's
girlfriend objected and asked the singer and his group of friends
to move along.
singers' friends exchanged harsh words with the complaining
and a melee erupted and spilled out into the parking lot. "Everybody
got into it and it ended up in a big brawl," Ross said.
men who were with the karaoke singer were stabbed. One of them,
19-year-old Kevin Arthur Nowak, was killed and the other remained
hospital with stab wounds to the stomach. A suspect, Rene Echevarria,
43, was arrested on murder and aggravated assault charges. During
a bond hearing he denied stabbing anyone, but was ordered held
Counterfeit Karaoke Disks Seized
WATERLOO, ON - June
A private investigation agency, King-Reed &
Associates, seized about $250,000 worth of pirated karaoke discs,
counterfeiting materials and computer equipment in Kitchener,
Waterloo and Cambridge last night.
The raids, part of an ongoing North American
investigation into counterfeiting optical media products, represent
the largest seizure to date. King-Reed was hired by U.S.-based
Karaoke Anti-Piracy Agency (KAPA) of Charlotte, North Carolina,
as part of its efforts to enforce the intellectual property
rights of its member companies.
Acting under the authority of a civil court
order, local private investigators raided two homes in Kitchener
and Cambridge where the pirated discs were produced. One karaoke
bar was entered and 5 disc jockeys were stopped as they showed
up at karaoke bars.
Barry Logan, the lead investigator said, "about
85 per cent of the discs used by jockeys approached were counterfeit."
K.A.P.A. launched its North American wide initiative to crack
down on profiteering from counterfeiting as copyright violations
result in the loss of significant revenue for computer discs
with graphics (CDG) manufacturers and distributors. K.A.P.A.'s
Canadian and US manufacturers represent approximately 90% per
cent of all authorized sales. While discs normally retail for
around $50, pirated versions can be purchased for as little
The companies investigated were found to be
using primarily counterfeit discs in their operations, with
collections ranging from 50 to over 2,000 discs. Logan stated
that, "Although it is often viewed as a 'victimless' crime,
the counterfeiting of CDGs causes an economic loss to the rightful
copyright holder." The North American CDG industry is valued
at about $150 million in annual sales.
Counterfeiting affects the financial position
and economic stability of manufacturing companies and is a serious
business crime. KAPA intends to vigorously pursue civil and
criminal cases against anyone found to be utilizing for profit
King-Reed & Associates, a private investigation
agency providing a full range of services, has an established
client base throughout North America, Europe and the Far East.
King-Reed & Associates are founding partners in Investigations
Canada, a network of highly reputable investigation firms coast-to-coast.
puts Karaoke Machine in Church to Help Singing
Nottinghamshire, England - May 24, 2001
A Nottinghamshire church has had a karaoke machine
installed to improve hymn singing.
The Rev Brian Duckworth's congregation failed
to hit the right notes after their organist moved away. They
were dealt another blow when a worshipper who brought a guitar
along to accompany the singing left as well.
Worshippers at St John the Evangelist's Church
in Hucknall then raised £2,850 to buy the karaoke machine,
which plays 2,400 hymns.
Mr Duckworth said: "Our services were getting
very dull. We have a strong musical tradition here at St John's
and hymns are a vital part of our worship. But I'm afraid singing
unaccompanied just wasn't the same."
He can control the karaoke machine from his
pulpit and even take it with him for outside services, reports
the Daily Telegraph.
Stephen Langford, assistant secretary of the
Southwell diocese, which approved the vicar's music-making idea,
said: "This machine is making its mark on St John's in
a way the original organ probably did 100 years ago."
Worshippers have been similarly
enthusiastic. Helen Overton said: "The services just didn't
flow without music."
|Karaoke Taxi Keeps Passengers
Bolton, England - May 9, 2001
Bolton taxi driver has fitted a karaoke machine
in the back seat of his cab. Kevan Jackson says the idea started
off as a joke, but now his customers can't get enough. Passengers
can choose from more than 200 songs. The words appear on a mini
Mr Jackson, 28, said: "It doesn't put me
off driving because, let's face it, they'd probably be singing
anyway after a few pints in the pub. "There's been some
really good ones who can really sing ... but the awful ones
are usually the best."
ne passenger, Janette Ainsworth, told the Manchester
Evening News: "It's certainly the best cab I've been in.
It's a great way to get in the mood for a night out or finish
off the night on the way home."
$1 Million Karaoke Deal
PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 8, 2001--SunnComm
President Peter H. Jacobs said, "Today,
we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a four-year
agreement with Sound Choice Accompaniment Tracks -- the largest
producer of Karaoke CD music in America.
"SunnComm will provide Sound
Choice with its proprietary Digital Content Cloaking
Technology known as MediaCloQ(TM). This revenue agreement will
include a minimum total of 2 million copies of Sound Choice's
"The deal, when complete, is expected to
generate in excess of $1 million for SunnComm Inc. This agreement
represents the understanding between the parties and shall be
replaced with a formal, definitive agreement within 30 days."
Sound Choice is the largest provider of Karaoke
CD music in the United States and delivers popular selections
to enthusiasts across all demographic segments.
Derek Slep, president and chief executive officer
of Sound Choice stated, "Our industry has been tortured
with piracy and unauthorized duplication of content. Sound Choice
again takes a leadership position in pioneering the digital
protection of karaoke music in America.
"We feel this is money well-spent. Using
SunnComm's revolutionary technology gives us the protection
we need against all the CD copy programs on the market today.
We look forward to a long relationship with SunnComm as a flexible
and competent partner in the protection of the digital rights
of artists and music producers worldwide."
SunnComm Inc. is a leader in digital content
security with its MediaCloQ(TM) product lines, and has commercially
released the country's first "cloaked" Audio CD --
Charley Pride's "A Tribute to Jim Reeves" which is
available at retailers throughout the country.
|Raids Net Counterfeit Karaoke
Discs Valued at $250,000
OTTAWA, Canada -
The war against counterfeit karaoke discs has
spread north of the U.S. border with a weekend raid on eight
southern Ontario locations in search of pirated discs worth
up to $250,000.
The raids came after a four-month investigation
by King-Reed & Associates Ltd., a private investigator working
on behalf of the North Carolina-based Karaoke Anti-Piracy Association,
which represents about 90% of U.S. and Canadian karaoke music
About 30 peace officers, investigators and police
acted on a civil court order allowing them to seize computer
hard drives, CD writers, blank CDs, and all items associated
with the possession, manufacture and distribution of counterfeit
compact discs with graphics (CDGs).
The CDGs contain the music and the lyrics used
in commercial karaoke businesses.
It is the first raid of its kind in Canada.
Two similar raids were conducted in Detroit in April and May
on KAPA's behalf.
"This client wants to make it known they
will vigorously investigate any infringement of their rights
and they will litigate," said Barry Logan, manager of the
corporate crime section at King-Reed & Associates.
The order covered 15 named individuals, businesses
and small entertainment companies in the Kitchener-Waterloo,
Cambridge and Guelph area.
"Several of the businesses investigated
have employees and thus generate a decent income while avoiding
the retail cost associated with the purchase of an original
CDG -- and I suspect, avoid paying taxes on an undeclared income,"
said Mr. Logan.
Local police participated in a "limited
capacity" in the raids last night because it was a civil
action, he said.
"Our client could have gone the criminal
route, there are laws they could use to convict the counterfeiters.
But it's a little heavy-handed to have somebody sent to jail
for having a bad karaoke disc," he said.
King-Reed, which specializes in intellectual
property investigations, was hired to follow up a tip to KAPA
about illegal karaoke discs being used in the area.
"We investigated that tip about an end
user of the product. From there, we were able to identify other
end users and distributors of the counterfeit karaoke discs.
So we implemented undercover means and infiltrated distribution
channels and identified the manufacturers of the discs,"
said Mr. Logan, who led the investigation.
He did not, however, have to actually sing any
karaoke. "Thank God it didn't go that far," he said.
King-Reed is now conducting other investigations
on behalf of KAPA to crack counterfeit karaoke rings in other
Canadian cities, Mr. Logan said.
"Canada is just a hot spot of karaoke counterfeiting,
I'll tell you."
Jill Vardy, Financial Post
|Jeff Healey Opens Toronto
Club - Offers Karaoke Nights
National Post - Jeff
Healey was nervous before opening the doors of his new club
on Bathurst Street last night.
"I'll just be really relieved when I start
hearing the music, the applause, the crowd and the cash register,"
said Mr. Healey, best known as the blind virtuoso who plays
the guitar on his lap. "I just hope people show up."
Just to make sure, Mr. Healey has lined up well-known
musicians, many of whom are his long-time friends, to perform
over the next three months.
There is a definite buzz about the place, called
Healey's of course, among anyone who knows anything about music
In addition, his business partners, Phil Morrison
and Stuart McKendrick, founded the successful Bohemian Cafe.
"I'm still nervous," said the man
who has sold five million albums. "Excited, yet nervous.
This means a great deal to me. It's one of the more important
things I have done over the last few years."
This is why Healey's official opening is not
until next week. Last night was the "soft opening"
to work out any glitches, such as sound or staff problems. For
years Mr. Healey had been thinking about opening a comfortable
nightclub that would feature live music. The plan for Healey's
is to have country, folk and bluegrass on Tuesdays, karaoke
on Wednesdays and jazz and swing on Thursdays. Anything
goes -- providing Mr. Healey approves it -- on Fridays and Saturdays.
"I'll even have alternative [music], whatever
that means, if a musician shows up and is good," he said.
"Healey's will be the place for a variety of good quality
Even the karaoke?
"A lot of very good singers who haven't
landed in a band yet get discovered at karaoke," he explained,
a little defensively.
And although Mr. Healey has been rounding up
friends, such as guitarist Jenny Whiteley and singer Sue Foley,
he hopes to give emerging talent "a little push" too.
Many music fans will show up simply because
of the new bar's namesake. Mr. Healey plans to be at his watering
hole most of the time. He says he won't likely perform much
by himself but will sit in with other musicians.
"It will give me a chance to hear a lot
of talent and play with a lot of different people," he
said, adding he hopes young musicians will hang out and get
advice from seasoned veterans. "I'm never going to stop
loving to play. But it's not important to me to be in the spotlight.
I don't need constant pats on the back."
Mr. Healey, who released his latest album, Get
Me Some, last year, was a young prodigy. He had his own CBC
show when he was 14 years old.
The Jeff Healey Band's big break came in 1988
when the scriptwriter for a new Patrick Swayze film, Road House,
saw the group play at a Toronto club. The band was later cast
in the movie.
Albums such as Hell to Pay and See the Light
established Mr. Healey as a household name in Canada, with fans
around the world. Bob Dylan used to take him on tour and he
has done the circuit with Bon Jovi.
So is the club business a
whole new career?
"What is a new career?"
he asked in his raspy voice. "Every day is a new day and
I'm constantly thinking of new things I'd like to do, stuff
I haven't got off the ground.
|Ottawa Firm Wows
the Web Innovators honoured
by industry awards
|By GEOFF MATTHEWS
The Ottawa Sun
OTTAWA -- Local entrepreneur Alfred Jay
is building a career out of perfecting the community grapevine.
Before the year is out he hopes to actually
be making money at it.
Yesterday, Jay's company, Ramius Corp., was
honoured by an industry group for CommunityZero.com,
its Web-based service that allows users to establish and maintain
private online communities.
Ramius won in the category Changing the Way
People Communicate at the seventh annual Internet World/ISPCON
Convention in Toronto.
It was one of two local firms to take home prizes
from the event.
Eatsleepmusic.com finished first in the category Changing the Way People Play
for its Internet karaoke service.
Incorporated in 1999, eatsleepmusic provides
users with the tools they need to "turn any PC into a karaoke
machine," said company media specialist Susannah Kilroy.
Used by Canoe
They also license their applications to other companies, including
Canoe and Lycos, sell hardware and even offer singing lessons.
The company, located on Kanata's Moodie Dr.,
has 25 employees and an estimated million users.
CommunityZero, with 12 employees, is "trying
to make the Internet easy for everyone to use," said Jay,
the founder and CEO.
It seems to be working, as more than 200,000
people are now part of 20,000 communications groups making use
of the service.
Associations, employee groups, hobbyists and
individuals with a specific area of interest make use of the
service, which is free to the end user.
Members of a discussion group can enter a chat
room, post information, exchange pictures or find other ways
"They don't need any technical knowledge,
and there is no cost for setting up and maintaining a system,
which can be very expensive," said Jay.
His company is privately owned, functioning
on just over $3 million in venture capital raised to date, and
is poised to enter its revenue generating phase, he said.
"We would love to take (the company) public
once it is profitable."
|KAPA Crosses the
Border On Karaoke Copyright Infringement
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada (June 9, 2001) - KAPA
(Karaoke Anti-piracy Agency) is presently investigating
Karaoke copyright infringement throughout the United States
and Canada. These investigations are a result of tips received
from KAPA members and members of the Karaoke community. Information
regarding busts will be posted on the KAPA website, www.karaokeantipiracyagency.com.
KAPA hired King Reed and Associates, a firm
that investigates commercial crimes, to followup on tips regarding
the production and sale of illegal copies of Karaoke CDGs in
Kitchener, Ontario. After 4 months of an undercover investigation,
substantial evidence was available to support the issuing of
the warrants. Simultaneous raids took place at the homes and
Karaoke shows of the suspected copyright infringers. Two homes
in Kitchener and Cambridge where counterfeit discs were allegedly
being made were raided. As reported in The National Post, "About
30 peace officers, investigators and police acted on a civil
court order allowing them to seize computer hard drives, CD
writers, blank CDs and all items associated with the possession,
manufacture and distribution of counterfeit compact discs with
graphics (CDGs)." In addition, 6 Karaoke Show hosts were
approached as they arrived for their shows and their counterfeit
discs were seized. All totaled, approximately $250,000.00 worth
of equipment and counterfeit discs was confiscated. This represents
the largest seizure of this kind to date.
Many view this type of criminal activity as
a victimless crime. However, not only is this an economic loss
to the rightful copyright holder, but to others as well. The
CDG Manufacturers' Dealers, who are local music stores, lose
revenue. Honest Karaoke hosts lose jobs by being undercut by
someone who has less of an investment in their music. Singers
also lose because the manufacturers will have to cut back on
new production due to lost revenue.
KAPA has filed a lawsuit against those involved
in hopes of recovering some of the losses experienced by the
manufacturers whose products were illegally reproduced. They
will continue to pursue civil and criminal cases against anyone
found to be utilizing counterfeit discs for profit.
King Reed and Associates is currently
investigating other leads received by KAPA regarding illegal
Karaoke counterfeiting operations in Canada and the United States.
Updates on this case and others will be posted at www.karaokeantipiracyagency.com.
for Drowned Friends
Sunday, 24 September, 2000, 12:32 GMT 13:32
Shelley Hughes and Claire Jones were inseparable
Two friends from North Wales who drowned when
they were swept out to sea during a night out have been buried
side by side.
The karaoke song Shelley Hughes and Claire Jones sang together
hours before they died was played at their joint funeral in
Mother-of-two Miss Hughes, 21, was dragged into
the water by a huge wave as she stood on the promenade at Colwyn
Bay late last Friday.
Classroom assistant Claire Jones, 20, jumped
into the sea to save her friend but their bodies were recovered
by an RAF helicopter crew three hours later.
Friends gathered for the funeral
Her uncle, Dave Jones, an inspector with north
Wales Police, had helped to organise the search before realising
who the women were.
Two men who attempted to rescue the women were
later praised by the police.
The pair, who lived opposite each other in Nant
y Coed, Llandudno Junction, had been with a group of friends
in Cariad's karaoke bar earlier that evening.
Their final song of the evening, Olivia Newton-John's
Hopelessly Devoted to You from the film Grease, was played to
mourners at St Michael and All Angel's Church in Llandudno Junction.
The Rev Terry Mart, rector of the Llangystennin
parish, said before the service that the opening song would
be followed by tributes from the women's close friends and two
of their favourite hymns, Make Me a Channel of Your Peace and
All Things Bright and Beautiful.
Tributes were laid at the spot where the girls
were swept away
Their families, including Miss Hughes' partner,
Darren Bond, and her two children, Danielle, five, and two-year-old
Ashton, led the mourners.
Miss Hughes, who worked as a retirement home
care assistant, and Miss Jones were later being buried next
to each other at nearby Llanrhos cemetery.
The mothers of the two women have talked of
their grief and said they wanted the funerals to be held jointly.
Margaret Hughes and Ann Owen said the ceremony
would be a perfect tribute to the women who did everything together.
"They were the best of friends - they lived
their lives together," said Mrs Hughes.
Down in Denver Colorado
Thursday June 21, 2001 3:01 PM ET
DENVER (AP) - Some 1,500 travelers were stranded
at Denver International Airport on Thursday after golf ball-size
hail knocked nearly 40 planes out of service.
``The sound in the concourse was incredible,''
said Louanne Smith, a teacher from Maryland who slept at the
airport with her son and husband after Wednesday night's storm.
``It was like thousands of drums.''
By Thursday morning, United Airlines had canceled
125 of its nearly 2,300 daily flights - a quarter of them due
to the problems in Denver, one of its biggest hubs.
United spokesman Chris Brathwaite said at least
32 planes were damaged in the storm, a problem that would cause
delays at other airports. Frontier Airlines reported damage
to four planes.
The storm brought tornadoes to the area, then
swept south, shattering windows in Watkins, about 20 miles east
of Denver. Two people suffered minor injuries and 1,200 customers
lost power. In some cases, hailstones punched through the metal
sheathing of mobile homes.
Residents on Thursday began cleaning up the
mess. Windows were blown out of all 69 dwellings at Galamb's
mobile home park and Country Manor motel owner Jim Hood estimated
damage to his property at $35,000.
``When the hail started hitting the roof it
sounded like a war zone,'' said Melissa Pacheco, who operates
a convenience store near the motel.
At the airport, Gayle Baehr of Columbus, Ohio,
and her 7-year-old son Chris were on a plane that had pulled
away from the gate when she saw the hail start to fall.
``They just looked like enormous golf balls,
and they put these huge dents in the wing,'' she said. ``You
could tell it caused a lot of damage.''
Their flight never took off. Airport workers
folded blankets and stacked pillows given to passengers who
slept on cots, benches and floors overnight.
Airport crews towed 33 cars with missing windshields
and other hail damage to an impound lot for safety, airport
spokesman Steve Snyder said. In all, more than 83 cars, police
cars and maintenance vehicles were damaged.
In Kiowa, about 40 miles southeast of Denver,
customers of the County Seat Saloon took shelter in the basement
when the storm hit.
``It got really cold and you could see water
sucked up off the street like there was a tornado,'' waitress
Maryann Sidebottom said. ``We were doing karaoke and couldn't
hear the siren. Someone came off the street to tell us.''
Serious About Karaoke
Friday June 15, 2001 7:23 AM ET
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian coffin-maker got his final
wish when his family and friends serenaded his body with some
of his favorite old Mandarin and Thai hits from the 1960s and
``He had been telling us that his passing away
should be celebrated with a karaoke session and merry-making,''
Teoh Hock Tiam's brother, Hock Weng, told The Star newspaper.
``We did not take it seriously until he reminded
us about it minutes before he died.''
Teoh was treated to a two-hour karaoke session
before he was sent on to his cremation, the newspaper reported
on Friday. Sources: Reuters | ABCNEWS.com
|MTV Will Give People
|Monday June 11, 2001 8:55 AM ET
NEW YORK (AP) - If you're sick of yourself,
MTV can help you become one of your favorite music stars - at
least for a little while.
The cable music channel this week is launching
a new show, ``Becoming.'' MTV will pick fans up in a limousine,
give them makeovers, teach them choreography and let them recreate
their favorite videos. Cameras will capture the transformation
along the way, then show the finished product.
The players were chosen from casting calls,
fan Web sites, karaoke bars and college campuses.
During the first week, fans will ``become''
Jennifer Lopez, Blink-182, Destiny's Child and the Backstreet
Boys. The premiere shows will air at 5 p.m. EDT Monday through
When ``Becoming'' reaches its permanent time
slot, 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays starting July 10, fans will pretend
to be Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera, Limp Bizkit, Britney
Spears, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others.
Karaoke Issues Severe Warning:
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 12:56 PM
Subject: COPYRIGHT INFO ABOUT CDG DISCS
Date / Time: 03/26/01 2:34 PM
Message: Public Notice Warning
aware of a number of people who are involved in reproducing
Sunfly products. This practice is illegal and carries a sentence
of up to 10 years in prison for anyone founding possession of
these goods. Anyone involved in manufacture, distribution or
purchase of these discs can face the maximum term when found
together with Arbiter Group Plc., take all matters of piracy
very seriously. In this respect, we have joined forces with
Trading Standards Authority and the Mechanical Copyright Protection
Society (MCPS, the people who ensure that music copyrights are
not stolen or abused ). This partnership, which covers the whole
country, has already prosecuted many piracy operations throughout
the country and is currently working on 10 separate cases as
already successfully prosecuted piracy operations in Devon,
Manchester, Glasgow & Leeds. This offence carries a maximum
sentence of 10 years in prison &/or very heavy fines. Sunfly
& Arbiter Plc. Will also be taking out private actions,
against those convicted, for damages and compensation. All equipment
will be confiscated, including computers, karaoke machines,
PA's, speakers, mixers etc. The penalty for even being in possession
of one copied disc can carry a maximum sentence.
- IT IS NOT WORTH IT! DO NOT JEOPARDISE YOUR LIVELIHOOD &
YOUR FAMILY'S FUTURE FOR A COPIED DISC. Pirate discs are NOT
LICENSED FOR Public Performance & therefore anyone using
them can be arrested and face heavy fines and imprisonment.
This includes the owner, tenant or landlord of the premises.
It is not just you who faces time in prison, it is those you
work for and live with. All the authorities, together with Sunfly,
The Arbiter Group Plc and all legal Karaoke traders, are now
investigating persons who, allegedly, are using or manufacturing
copied discs. If you have any now, get rid of them. If you don't
and you're caught you will be arrested. We will prosecute to
obtain the maximum sentences.
websites they say that it is Legal to backup your discs, this
isn't the case.
queries about this notice either Sunfly or the MCPS would be
glad to give you any advice you might need. Sunfly + 44 (0)
20 8905 5555MCPS (Anti Piracy Division) + 44 (0) 20 8664 4691
This Message was forwarded by www.news2mail.com
Read the Usenet via eMail
Site Music to Amateurs' Ears:
Ottawa firm avoids Napster trap by buying
its music from publishing companies
Ray - Friday, March 30, 2001
Special to The Globe and Mail
Price wants to liven up family gatherings and house parties,
he fires up his laptop computer and invites his friends and
relatives to gather round and belt out a song or two, karaoke-style.
He is among
a growing number of wannabe singers and seasoned crooners turning
family rooms, cottages, wedding ballrooms and even campgrounds
into karaoke clubs, thanks to the wares of eatsleepmusic.com
Corp. of Ottawa.
is succeeding at a time when other music sites, most notably
Napster Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., have come under attack
or been shut down for allowing users to download music in violation
of copyright laws.
which set up its Web site in 1999, has steered clear of this
problem by purchasing the rights to all music found on its site
from music-publishing companies such as Universal Studios Inc.,
Broadcast Music Inc., Sony Corp. and AOL Time Warner Inc.'s
Warner Music, company founder Trevor McGuire says.
is rerecorded by studio musicians to sound as close as possible
to the original tune; owners of the music are paid a royalty
of about 25 cents a song, he says.
surfers who turn to the site can croon for free to music streamed
into their personal computers or, for a fee, download thousands
of songs or order CDs, CDGs (compact discs plus graphics), cassettes
and VHS tapes.
equipment, singing lessons, advice on staging a karaoke party
and lists of karaoke venues in Canada, the United States and
Britain are also available on the privately held firm's site.
there enables PCs, televisions and cassette players to double
as karaoke machines. "It's a great way to break the ice,
certainly more fun than sitting around watching television,"
says Mr. Price, a Toronto musician who, in the past 18 months,
has purchased 300 songs from the site for his own use, as well
as software, songs and a microphone for his granddaughter.
sale on the site is about $20, although some customers have
spent up to $1,500 per visit, says George McTaggart, vice-president
of marketing. About 80 per cent of revenue is earned by selling
music, 10 per cent from site advertising and the rest from commissions
earned when hardware, singing lessons and other products are
sold on behalf of other companies, Mr. McTaggart says.
Mr. McGuire forecasts, sales will reach $4-million to $5-million,
about double last year's revenue. The company also expects to
turn a profit by the end of May.
To get there,
eatsleepmusic.com has eaten up about $10-million raised through
friends, family and Canadian venture capitalists and is negotiating
deals for an additional $2-million, for content, marketing and
business development, Mr. McGuire says. The debt-free company
expects an additional influx of capital this spring by going
public through a reverse takeover, which will land it on the
Canadian Venture Exchange, he says.
is nearing a profit so quickly is a pleasant surprise for analysts
who track the troubled dot-com sector.
the company can be profitable within two years of its launch,
that would be fairly impressive," says Mark Quigley, director
of research with The Yankee Group in Canada.
launched the company in 1996 as Vorton Technologies Inc., a
developer and distributor of software products, including graphic
imaging and financial tools sold through retail computer outlets.
the company began focusing on karaoke after Mr. McGuire was
introduced to Tune 1000 Corp., a company formed by a Quebec
City-based group of musicians looking for a distributor for
their collection of karaoke songs and software. Mr. McGuire
liked what he heard, bought the company and added its wares
to his software lineup.
his firm had a potential hit when an analyst hired to assess
the opportunity pointed out there was precious little on the
Internet for music fans and businesses that spend $15-billion
(U.S.) annually on karaoke music and equipment.
looked at the market and our core competencies and saw the opportunity
to do to karaoke what MP3 has done to original music,"
Mr. McGuire says. "Tune 1000 gave us the music. . . . Vorton
brought business savvy to the mix."
A year ago,
Mr. McGuire says, the Web site received 250,000 visits a month,
with about 30,000 registered users viewing an average of two
pages per visit. By early this month, it was averaging 1.5 million
visits, with 200,000 registered users checking out six pages
12-month span, the firm's Web-based client list grew to 10,000
from about 1,000.
focuses on the 100 million people worldwide it estimates participate
in karaoke, and who, until the arrival of the Internet, could
only purchase or rent hardware or visit bars and other venues,
Mr. McTaggart says.
its radar screen are millions of other music enthusiasts who
want to sing along with music, and have fun doing it, at parties
and weddings, or in the comfort of their own homes. More specifically,
it's targeting the increasing number of multimedia computer
owners whose machines are hooked to the Internet and equipped
with sound cards and speakers that can play music, he says.
to the site has shown that eatsleepmusic.com's products are
being used by people of all ages.
can sing along for free to about 200 songs they can click on
at the site, including hits performed in the style of country,
pop, rock, gospel and children's artists. If they like what
they hear, they can buy those songs and others from the company's
12,000-song playlist for between $1 and $4 a tune. By purchasing
songs and downloading free software, karaoke enthusiasts get
better-quality sound and a handful of features, including pitch
and tempo control, that enhance the experience.
says the company's key challenges are to build its music content,
get new capital and draw more people to the Web site while avoiding
the spending excesses that have been the downfall of other dot-coms.
new financing, it is making moves on the content side. The company
has entered a strategic partnership with Sound Choice Music
Accompaniment Tracks of Charlotte, N.C., a karaoke-music supplier
with a catalogue of 12,000 tunes; with these and others still
to come, eatsleepmusic.com hopes to double the size of its 15,000-song
catalogue by next spring. It also plans to offer songs in a
variety of languages, Mr. McGuire says.
has adopted a multipronged strategy to increase Web traffic
and build brand awareness. It now has partnerships that link
more than 600 Web sites to eatsleepmusic.com.
has negotiated agreements with about 25 original-equipment manufacturers
that bundle its karaoke application and a selection of songs
with hardware, such as sound cards, speakers and computers.
A novel marketing device used once so far is "karaokegrams."
With a partner, the company held a contest last September that
encouraged enthusiasts to e-mail as many karaoke songs as possible
from its site in return for the chance to win concert tickets
and backstage passes. In 10 days, 80,000 e-mails were sent.
In the coming
months, eatsleepmusic.com hopes to reach even more customers
by adding a feature that will let singers record the songs they
sing on their PCs.