I have been a karaoke show operator in Florida for eighteen years and have been following the trademark infringement (piracy)issue develop. For many years karaoke manufacturers hoped that piracy of their products would go away. They wanted to believe that good would prevail, and many more people would buy their products than would steal it.
I have always bought all of the products that I use. However, through the nineties and beyond the piracy problem proliferated until dozens of american karaoke manufacturers were forced out of business. Now only a handful of these companies are still in business.
The problem is that when a new karaoke disk is produced and sold, it has become a matter of weeks before the music is being copied and distributed illegitimately. Within weeks their are far more illegitimate copies of the music in circulation and use than were ever sold legitimately.
This situation stopped Sound Choice from producing music in the common CD+G format years ago. They continue to produce the music now on a different format that is more controlled and protected from piracy. But that doesn't correct the damage that has already been done.
Sound Choice was once the largest producer of karaoke music in the industry. In order to survive, they were forced to reduce their operation to a handful of employees. As a result many dozens of PEOPLE LOST THEIR JOBS!
If I were Sound Choice, I would have done exactly what they have done. First attact the first half of the problem. Try to put the people out of business who are copying the music and distributing it without permission. Second, make the commercial karaoke operators who use the music without paying for it pay up. The latter has required many more suits to be filed to make a dent in that part of the problem.
If there was a different legal remedy for the damage done to Sound Choice, I think they would persue it. Unfortunately, I don't see any other remedy.
In conclusion, all indications show that karaoke is still a viable form of entertainment that is enjoyed by more fans than ever. This is certainly not a "silly" or "obsolete" industry.
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