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Friday, June 4, 2010

Sound Choice "Audit" of Good Time Karaoke, Inc

Details are emerging from one of Sound Choice's recent "audit's", and it appears that Sound Choice is making up rules and procedures on-the-fly. In a recent audit of Good Time Karaoke, Inc, of New Port Richey, FL, Sound Choice elected NOT to have them sign their rights away in the "Audit Agreement" that is posted below on this site. They also did NOT verify every single Sound Choice karaoke track listed in their karaoke books.

Also - Sound Choice conducted this "audit" via Skype webcam. According to the owners of Good Time Karaoke, "we sent pdf copies of each of our 3 systems books and then set up a time for a skype. Michael asked for certain songs and we showed copies of the disc(s) using webcam".

It is interesting to note that Sound Choice slandered this company in their lawsuit. The lawsuit against Good Time Karaoke states that:

97 Defendent GOODTIME KARAOKE INC was observed operating a karaoke system to produce a show in wicth conterfit copirs of SLEP_TONES accompaniment track were being used.

98. In connection with that show Defendant GOODTIME KARAOKE INC. repeatedly displayed the sound choice marks with our rights or license.

99 Defendent GOODTIME KARAOKE INC has put on as many as eight shows per week at as many as five diffrent venues, as many as three simultaneously.

100. Defendant GOODTIME KARAOKE INC maintains a library in excess of 12,000 songs
stored on each of its karaoke systems"

When asked about whether Sound Choice provided them with evidence to support the above claims, the owners of Good Time Karaoke stated "No explaination was offered or asked for, We are being dropped from the suit and have letters on the way to exonerate us. We do not know why we were named in the first place."

Of course, this company was not compensated by Sound Choice for the time and aggravation of being named in a lawsuit, and submitting to an audit. It would also appear that Sound Choice is setting precedence for others to demand the same audit procedures that were extended to Good Time Karaoke - not having to sign an audit agreement, and not having to account for each and every Sound Choice karaoke track listed in your books.

There is something else that seems very fishy about this audit. The owners of Good Time Karaoke are now ready to join the KIAA, and seem to be supportive of Sound Choice's unethical tactics to combat piracy. This, despite being falsely accused, having your name dragged through the mud for everyone to see, and having to spend valuable time preparing for, and submitting to Sound Choice's "audit".

We understand, that, after numerous sleepless nights worrying about this lawsuit, the owners of Good Time Karaoke are relieved to have this burden lifted from their shoulders. However, to all of a sudden be supportive of a company who has caused so much pain and suffering seems too good to be true. We think that there is more to this story than what we are being told. It is our opinion that Sound Choice is attempting to do damage control, and avoid counter suits. Perhaps a confidential settlement was reached with Good Time Karaoke, requiring them to be publically supportive of Sound Choice......and perhaps the owners of Good Time Karaoke are the nicest people on the planet, and can easily turn the other cheek after being crucified by Sound Choice. In our opinion, the confidential settlement is the more likely of the two options.

74 comments:

  1. Well, when Sound CHoice rolled through Virginia the first time, I had one Karaoke rig and 3 nights of Karaoke,using the single system between each show. They were accusing everyone using a computer Karaoke system. Even though I was good to go, I saw an inexpensive way to grow to 3 rigs, so I settled for 2 more sound choice libraries. I think they are fair in their sttlement offers, and it's undeniable that TRADEMARK infringement is a legit angle for them to pursue in order to recoup losses from COPYRIGHT infringement that has CLEARLY occured.

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  2. Just to further clarify...the skype audit was followed up by a complete audit that took place at Sound Chice Studios.
    I will repeat again to anyone who will listen
    IF you are a legit karaoke operator ask for an audit...if you are not get legal or get out. The pirates and their venues will end up paying in the end.
    KJ Athena
    GoodTime Karaoke Inc

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  3. Do not trust what you read posted up here on this site. Especially posts from those NAMED in this suit. If you are legal and have the discs to prove it, you will be fine. Otherwise you will be pushed out of business by Karaoke hosts who have been dropped from the suit either by buying their way out or passing the audit. That is the sad truth...

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  4. Some of the KJ's who were named and than dropped from the lawsuit are informants working for Slep-Tone.

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  5. Final outcome of the GoodTime Karaoke/Sound choice/Charbuter/Stellar audits....We will be the first Florida company to have been audited by all 3 major manus and passed with flying colors...Curently listed on both Sound Choice and Charbuster sites as Certified providers. We have our covanant not to be sued by the manu's ...and look forward to further KIAA audits of all discs to further show our integrity and continue our memebership
    KJAthena
    GoodTime Karaoke

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  6. I understand the need to enforce trademark and copy rights, however, what everyone neglects to understand is your fouth amendment rights protecting you against illegal search and seizer. There must be probable cause to search someones music and Sound Choice can only check the discs for which they maintained the copy rights to. If they do not own the rights to other manufactures discs, they have no rights to examine the music produced by other manufactures. Just because you run a show with a laptop does not constitute probable cause to examine ones music library. If a person is selling preloaded hard drives that would constitute probable cause. If there are multiple shows on the same night, the question is, do they have multiple legal copies of their music? This would be considered probable cause. Is the company advertising in excess of 20,000 songs? This could warrant probable cause for some type of audit. However, Sound Choice must be conducting these audits with the full support and conducting this audit with all the other manufacturers at the same time, otherwise they are filing false claims. I suggest that people start standing up for their fourth amendment rights based on principle alone. Show probable cause.

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    Replies
    1. probable cause does not apply in civil suits.....either does innocent till proven guilty. So trying to stand on principle is kind of a mute point

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    2. Besides use of a computer is enough because they can't prove you have the discs just by seeing the computer and no pirate is gonna tell an investigator the truth if asked if they have their discs so SC has no other way of telling whether you are legally 1:1 unless they sue or you ask for a pre suit audit. Either way if you are 1:1 then you have nothing to worry about because they offer an audit or a settlement agreement if guilty of piracy. I was present the day they audited Good Times and they took a heck of a long time to check all of their discs.

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  7. Does anyone know, if Sound Choice is selling blocks of music on on preloaded hard drives, what safe guards are they placing to keep this music from being copied? This is a bit disconcerning given the prices of these blocks of music range from 2,500. upwards of 7,ooo. with payment plans. If you copy your original cdg onto and covert the format to run on your computer, does this not fall under fair use of this product, grey area or not? Sound Choice has approved the use of their music on hard drives if they are selling it that way. Is Sound Choice offering a replacement of all the music they sell on hard drives in the event of hard drive failure or a computer virus? Are they providing discs with this for the proof of ownership use should you be re-audited in the future? Are they allowing you to copy this music on your hard drive to be added to your library? I beleive you have a right to protect your investment with a personal copy, but limit the use to one original set of music per show if your company is running multiple shows per night.

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    1. sound choice is NOT offering blocks of music on preloaded hard drives.....and never has. They do offer the GEM series to hosts only that are MP3+G format and easy to load to hard drive in case of failure.
      KJ's/host would be smart in my opinion to use a program to "Stamp" their libraies (I like CD+G Stamper) to prevent unauthorized copies. Yes someone could still remove the stamps but they would have to do so screen by screen , song by song. A smart idea for very little money.

      KjAthena

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  8. Actually, Soundchoice's mp3 libraries are actual discs that you can load to your computer. I believe that thekiaa's stance is that as long as you own a set of disc to go with whatever computer you are using, you are ok. I believe they are after all these kj's that are out there with loaded computers and never bought one disc. Now if I read it right, is someone saying that they are auditing complete libraries? If so, that is a violation of a persons rights. So if someone owns Nutech scdg disc, sweet georgia brown cdg discs, or zoom karaoke disc, that they are supposed to show these manufacturers those discs? That's a load of BS. On the other hand, if you are legit. Tell them to ask you what discs to show proof of purchase/possession that belongs to them and you will gladly do that. Anything above and beyond that is unlawful in my mind. For those that do not like that they are suing people, just know that they lost millions of dollars with piracy. So I cannot blame them. Don't agree with all their tactics, but they really do have a point. Take care people.

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  9. If you don't want to play from CDs, we understand. A large collection of CDs takes up a lot of space. Bringing your CDs to a venue exposes them to theft and loss. CDs can get scratched from too much handling. IF you choose the convenience of a hard drive system, we understand the technical reasons for doing so. But, let�s be clear: For legal reasons, Sound Choice does not authorize the use of hard drive systems to play our karaoke music commercially. But we will agree not to sue you for "media-shifting" the contents of our CD+Gs or MP3+G discs if you follow our media-shifting policy.

    Our media-shifting policy requires you to maintain a "one-to-one" correspondence between your CD+Gs or MP3+G discs and the other medium. To determine one-to-one correspondence, we look at the other medium, usually a hard drive. For every Sound Choice� track on that hard drive, you must own an original Sound Choice CD+G or MP3+G disc that contains that track. The hard drive track and the CD+G or MP3+G track are assigned to each other. Once you've assigned a CD+G track to a hard drive track, you have to put that CD+G or MP3+G disc "on the shelf." It can't be used anywhere else, nor can it be sold, unless it is first removed from your hard drive.

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    1. Please refer to the U.S.C. that allows you to tell us what we can or cannot do with our media. As a legal researcher I have been unable to identify the specific code upon which you base your position. It seems you have NO basis for you legal actions, as indicated by the following:

      Monday, 29 April 2013
      Lawsuit Ends
      by Robert J. Kossack, Esq.

      Sound Choice Las Vegas lawsuit comes to an end In February of this year,
      Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation, the maker of Sound Choice karaoke discs, sued 30 Las Vegas bar venues and 14 karaoke
      jockeys alleging they had pirated its karaoke tracks off its discs without actually having bought its product. Such pirating had inevitably occurred in some instances, and some karaoke jockeys, who merely
      bought a hard drive off a real pirate, were competing with karaoke jockeys who had spent tens of thousands of dollars building up their karaoke disc library.
      All Slep-Tone really wanted was for each karaoke jockey to have one to one correspondence between the karaoke tracks they had downloaded to their computer and the karaoke tracks they had on genuine Sound Choice discs in their
      possession. Unfortunately, and without knowing whether the karaoke jockey actually had the discs, Slep-Tone began suing anyone and everyone it had reason
      to believe were playing karaoke tracks off a computer instead of directly from discs using a karaoke disc player, and Slep-Tone began suing any venue it had reason to
      believe had hired a karaoke jockey who was using a computer. The venues were given no warning that karaoke jockeys they hired as independent contractors might be
      using pirated material.
      As a result, a lot of innocent people were dragged into the Slep-Tone lawsuits nationwide, and Slep-Tone sued multiple defendants in single lawsuits which added greatly to the costs of their defenses. It was not until four separate federal opinions were published dismissing
      multiple defendants for improper joinder that Slep-Tone stopped that illegal practice.
      Slep-Tone also claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquidated damages but willingly settled with various defendants for about five thousand dollars each.
      Slep-Tone then failed on more than one occasion to prosecute its case
      leading many defendants who did not settle to have the case against them dismissed.
      In Los Angeles, where Slep-Tone filed a similar lawsuit a federal judge found Slep-Tone’s lawsuit to be “nothing more than a shakedown” and that Slep-Tone took “trolling [for settlements] to the next level.”
      Meanwhile, the lives of karaoke jockeys were being ruined as skittish venues fired them rather than risk being dragged through more litigation, and some venues
      paid settlement money rather than incur tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees seeing their case through trial.
      In the end, the Sound Choice Las Vegas lawsuit went away with nearly everyone worse off for it. Sound Choice karaoke tracks were omitted from some
      shows, and Sound Choice’s reputation was dragged through the gutter by talking big but then failing to prosecute and having its case dismissed against multiple defendants for its failure to respond to motions to dismiss, by its failure to file proofs of service and by its improper joinder of multiple
      defendants in a single suit.

      Counter suits may be in order. Talk to a KNOWLEDGEABLE ATTORNEY BEFORE you allow anyone to see or inspect you equipment, media either digital or physical, song lists or other aspects of your business!

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  10. It's a double edged sword my friend. The Karaoke discs fall under "Video Games" copyright laws. Which means you cannot have a backup digital copy like you can with Audio files. Therefore just having it on your computer is probable cause enough to warrant action. That being said. Anyone can sue anyone. The idea is to avoid that process by submitting to an audit. If someone sues you...they have to prove their case. So you can either be legit and not have anything to worry about. or...You can be a pirate...worry about being sued (audited) and rolling the dice at your chances to owe someone in excess of 15-20k. My suggestion...Just pay the 5k and be done with it. Yeah their freaking vampires living in million dollar homes. But sometimes you have to cut a few throats to get to where you want. I guess the owners of sound choice feel that way. My other recommendation...boycott soundchoice and the karaoke channel. Hurt them in the wallet.

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  11. Not being a KJ and having no hard drive to speak of I am wondering why my local KJ has informed me that Sound Choice will sue them if the Sound Choice Discs that I have personally purchased myself are played in a commercial setting... Where can I go to get my money back for all of the discs that I purchased with the only purpose being to enjoy performing to them on a stage to an audience of friends and not alone in my living room singing to my dog?

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  12. Sound Choice gave permission YEARS AGO to use copies in shows. Just paste the link below in your browser and you'll see his public posting on the matter from 1998:

    http://dkusa.com/images/kslep.jpg

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  13. I had a audit the other day they are trying to say that i have been using there CDs in shows before 1998 but they have no evidence so they said they were not perusing the matter any further

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  14. "james White said...
    I had a audit the other day they are trying to say that i have been using there CDs in shows before 1998 but they have no evidence so they said they were not perusing the matter any further"

    Say what? If you were using them before 90 them in all likelyhood you were doing so from disc, so was I! I went through the audits without any problems.


    "Anonymous said...
    Not being a KJ and having no hard drive to speak of I am wondering why my local KJ has informed me that Sound Choice will sue them if the Sound Choice Discs that I have personally purchased myself are played in a commercial setting... Where can I go to get my money back for all of the discs that I purchased with the only purpose being to enjoy performing to them on a stage to an audience of friends and not alone in my living room singing to my dog?"

    Use the music supplied by the KJ and you have no problem, if he doesn't have any Sound Choice there is a reason for that 9 times out of ten he is a pirate trying to hide from Sound Choice. If he has neither Sound Choice nor Chartbuster it is 10 for 10 that he is a pirate so don't patronize his show.

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  15. Does anyone know the amounts Sound Choice is charging to settle disputes? How much per library?

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  16. So these ooooh investigators come to your karaoke show, see that on your laptop there is a Sound Choice logo and send you a letter saying this and that about wanting to see the discs. So what happens if you accidentally dropped and broke your hard drive and it's now in the city dump, no proof, no lawsuit. No KJ you're not out of business if that happened, just go buy some CDG's from Ebay or Craigslist. They're after the " laptop " using KJ's. Your patrons will sing what's in your book after two beers anyway and they like YOU, that's why they come to your show so drop that hard drive off a cliff and tell Sound Choice to go pound the suit up their asses.

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  17. I've been reading the advice by some people to these karaoke hosts, they say " get a lawyer " Um, we do KARAOKE, how much money do you think we make ? Most KJ's do this as a side thing just to make a little extra money for the week, in most cases around $100.00 for the night. Do you know how much lawyers are ? Fuck Sound Choice, I do karaoke and don't own a house or have a regular job to garnish my wages and about 150 dollars in the bank. Don't forget that this whole thing is about getting money from the KJ's so I say COME GET ME SOUND CHOICE, you ain't getting shit from me. LMAO !!!!! " Oh but you won a judgement against me ?" That judgement and 50 cents couldn't buy you a cup of coffee. LMAO !!!!

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    1. I feel for the responder. Why do some people think that they will never have anything ? They are LMAO that a judgment would not be worth anything. A Judgement on your credit report can keep you from ever owing a home, getting a decent job, bettering your life. Why would you risk your future to use pirated tracks ?

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  18. If you are not 100% legit, you are not legal, plain and simple. Let's face it, there are more illegal karaoke operators running on a computer than there are legal operators. All Karaoke manufacturers need to get on board and put the pirates out of business.

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  19. Good luck on putting them out of business, all the KJ's across the country now know not to display the make of that karaoke song at the beginning AND end of the songs. If no one ( an investigator ) can see ( prove ) what the make of that song is then they have NO evidence that you're legal or not. They have NO POWER to ask you to do anything, they are not a state, county or city official in any capacity to make you do anything. It's like someone from Midas muffler wanting to see under your car to check and see if it's a Midas muffler, who the hell are they to ask to see anything ? Same thing with Sound Choice or APS. They're trying to scare KJ's with lawsuits, talk to a lawyer and counter sue them for harassment.

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  20. I love these people who say " Put the KJ's out of business ". Great then there's no one to buy the songs and ALL of the karaoke makers go out of business also, the bar owners lose, bartenders. cooks and waitresses lose their jobs. Bye bye karaoke, you were fun while you lasted. How about making the price of the CDG's better ? KJ's make like $100.00 a night, some make 10% of the bar which is like $40.00 to $50.00 if they're lucky. After investing in sound equipment, players, CDG's and other misc things $100.00 a night isn't shit to make. Maybe if the prices ( $17.00 to $26.00 a piece ) of CDG's wasn't so expensive the laptop KJ's would have BOUGHT the CDG's. ????????

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  21. They mean put the illegal KJ's out of business as they aren't buying the products to begin with. It's the cost of doing business. Either get legit or quit. And not every laptop KJ is a pirate. I went through the audit process and they looked at all my discs. I even pointed out two Performer Choice discs I own. I grew up learning that stealing is wrong. I guess the pirates never learned that lesson from Mom & Dad. Well SC and CB are teaching that there are consequences to their actions.

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  22. And guess what, they ( SC & CB ) are not going to do shit to anyone, why ? Because it will cost thousands of dollars to go to Federal Court and they are ASSUMING you don't have the CDG's, they aren't going to take that financial chance and lose. Secondly the Federal Courts are backed up by at least a year and a half, anything ;) can happen to that hard drive in that time, stolen, broken, etc., No hard drive no case, the only way they can get you is from your own BIG MOUTH. They have to PROVE that you're a pirate and they have NO IDEA what you do or don't own. Remember that this whole thing is about intimidation and trying to get money from you, they have falsely accused everyone without knowing what they do or don't own, they're trying to scare you by using willful intimidation tactics to make you buy the Sound Choice package and make this all go away, don't be an idiot, any lawyer will tell you the same thing. Remember, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DO AND DON'T OWN so how can accuse you of anything ?

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    1. yeah right ANOTHER judgment against those who believed like this person did. Civil cases are not like criminal ones....you are not Innocent until proven guilty.http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/florida/flmdce/8:2011cv01552/260425/90/0.pdf?ts=1329479397
      THIS IS ONE OF MANY DONT BURY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND

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    2. The judgements against KJ's and Venues keep adding up. Guess SC chose to pay to take these cases to court after all.

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    3. The defendants lost this case because they did not show up for court, not on the merits of it. Had they shown up the likely outcome would have been in their favor. http://lvlem.com/new/index.php/special-features/articles/item/49-sound-choice-las-vegas-lawsuit-ends

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  23. Oh and one more thing, they ( SG / APS ) tell you not to buy SC CDG's now, OR borrow them from someone who has whatever CDG's you need to get out of this. WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT THIS ONE IS, how in the hell would they know if you borrowed or bought them from someone ? THEY ARE IN YOUR POSSESSION and are YOURS, how can they prove they're not yours ? People stop being so scared and stupid, if you borrow or buy them from a friend there is NO WAY !!!! they can say they're not yours.

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    1. ok believe that until you are caught and it ends up costing you much much more....some have already tried buying after the fact and been caught....dishonesty will get you caught

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  24. Someone asked...how much is it costing to settle with SC...starts a bit over 7k for 4800 songs. If you do payments of sorts, it will cost a bit more.

    Anon 101

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  25. THEY ( SC ) are the ones who are going to pay $7000.00, in attorney fees in my case. Just because of their tactics of scaring these karaoke hosts the way they're doing I'm going to let them take me to court and do the whole shabang and spend all the money to investigate me then WHAM !!! in court I'm going to show the judge my SC karaoke collection, every song accounted for. Their tactics have been nothing short of intimidation and extortion so I'm going to hit them right in their pockets for being assholes to these people. I suggest everyone do the same, they are bullying and scaring poor people just trying to earn a dollar. Is pirating wrong ? Yes it is but there's ways to go about this the decent right way, they're not doing that so now they're going pay.

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    Replies
    1. haven't seen any legal rulings requiring SC to pay anyone....what happened with your attorney fees?

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  26. The payments on a monthly payment schedule are $530.00 a month at 20% interest. Yes 530,if you pay that you're an IDIOT. Just delete SC, Chartbusters and Pop Hits from your hard drive, yes I said Chartbusters and Pop Hits too, they're right behind SC on this.

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  27. Well, I am one of the KJs that Sound Choice has named in their lawsuit. I am to be audited within the next couple weeks. I am one of the legal KJ's that started working with disk back in the late 1990's. Since then, I know that at least 30 more KJ's has came out of the woodwork and underbid my shows. I purchased all of my disk and am very confident that I will pass my audit. I am personally on Sound Choice's side because I used to make $200 a night and now I can only make $150 a night. There are alot of KJ's out there only charging $100 a night. They are the illegals and the ones that is costing all of us money. I will be glad when Sound Choice shuts down the pirates. I know that my karaoke company will benefit.

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  28. I really feel for the people that believe those that say just ignore it or break your hard drive ect....they are going to be very surprised and upset when they are hit in the wallet when they could have so easily prevented it.
    KJ Athena

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  29. I just wonder what Sound Choice's logic is behind NOT providing their music online the way iTunes does? The files can be copy protected so that they cannot be used on another computer, much like a track you download from iTunes can't be used on someone else's computer.

    In a way, I applaud their efforts, but I think they are really missing an opportunity by being so bull headed on this issue. There are already sites that sell Karaoke tracks for commercial use, just not Sound Choice tracks. If you are a single op/owner, one rig, maybe a show or two a week, that ability could help build your library by selecting just the songs you want or need and not clog up your songbooks and drives with unecessary tracks. And Sound Choice ALREADY SELLS TRACKS ON iTunes (just not the graphic files)! Why not just make the transition already! You may be suprised how many of the illegal guys would BUY YOUR TRACKS if you made them more available and in the formats that are preferential even to LEGIT KJ'S!

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    Replies
    1. the licencing for commercial use karaoke music does not exist in the USA...That is the reasoning for not offing the tacks in this manner to professional KJ's. When the law catches up I am sure ALL manufactures will be on the bandwagon

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  30. One question after reading everything ... how does one become "legal" and still be able to use a computer for karaoke instead of disks? I mean since Sound Choice NEVER released any digital music.

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    Replies
    1. request certification from SC and CB. This involves paying for the audits(and passing) and marking your discs. You will then be listed as certified KJ and receive permission to media-shift in advance

      KjAthena

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  31. It had been my understanding that it is illegal to copy music from a disk to a hard drive so it doesn't make sense to think that if you have purchased their disks you're safe. If you copy it then its copyright infringement. Seems to me that Sound Choice AND Chartbuster are just trying to make more money off of KJ's that can't afford their hefty price tag!

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  32. This all is such a shame. Because some people got greedy and thought they could make money from doing Karaoke without paying for the tools to do so. They put hard working people out of business that couldn't afford to drop their prices to the same level as someone with "0" overhead. So these people that wanted to remain honest had to either give up the business that they loved, or cheat a little (or a lot). It just sucks all the way around. They should be more diligent at going after the guys selling these hard drives on ebay & craig's list with 150,000 songs on them. Why does this continue to the extent that it has? I am a DJ that has people that I hire out for the Karaoke side of things. I have seen this from the DJ side of the business as well, buy a hard drive = instant business. I tell people that the only thing now to set you apart from everyone else that has the same "tools" as you is sell yourself and your knowledge and expertise. Getting back to the Sound Choice lawsuits, it should be handled on a case by case basis, and fairly taking into account many more factors than it seems it does. Do they want to kill the industry completely? These people (for the most part) are not getting rich doing Karaoke at the local bar. Most of these people do it for the love of music. The playing field does need to be leveled and maybe all the honest people could make a living doing Karaoke again if they don't have to pay so much to make everything right again.

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  33. CAVS sues Sound Choice

    CAVS Newsletter 11/17/2011

    After a fruitless attempt to resolve the matter short of litigation, CAVS USA Inc. has sued Slep-Tone Entertainment dba Sound Choice for trade libel and unfair competition in federal district court in Los Angeles, case no. 11-cv-5574 DDP (JEMx). The Complaint alleges that earlier this year, Sound Choice commenced a campaign of mass electronic mailings to CAVS customers and potential customers warning them that CAVS products were "illegal" and that Sound Choice was suing users of "illegal karaoke CAVS...units." Sound Choice also offered that those who purchased their "illegal...CAVS unit" from selected sellers and who contacted Sound Choice by a certain date would be exempt. The Complaint alleges that Sound Choice also encouraged recipients to forward the email to others.

    The Complaint alleges that these statements were false, misleading, and libelous, and unfairly disparaged the quality of CAVS products as "illegal," and threatened the purchasers of Plaintiff's products with potential lawsuits. CAVS also alleges that these acts by Sound Choice constituted unlawful, unfair, and/or fraudulent business practices in violation of Section 17200 et seq. of the California Business and Professions Code. The complaint seeks in excess of $15 million in damages and injunctive relief against Sound Choice, as well as attorney's fees, costs, and an order that Sound Choice undertake corrective notices.

    CAVS has brought this suit to protect its good name and to seek compensation for the damage done to its business by these false and misleading accusations. CAVS also wants to reassure its customers that CAVS and its products are of the highest quality and comply with the law, and that any assertion by Sound Choice to the contrary is without basis. In this connection, it may be noted that summary judgment was granted October 25, 2011 against Sound Choice in a recent case it brought against a vendor and others in federal court in Ohio, Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation v. Karaoke Kandy Store, Inc. et al., case no. 1:10 CV 00990, making claims that various defendants had "counterfeited" Sound Choice's karaoke CD recordings and infringed the Sound Choice trademark. The federal judge noted that Sound Choice had presented no admissible evidence of any such counterfeiting or unauthorized use, and that "no reasonable jury could find" for Sound Choice on its claims.

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  34. Sound Choice is presently raising hell in NJ. A few KJs I know are getting hit with court papers. All have laptops. I have so far been left alone maybe cause I use discs & DVD/CDG players. I know one Laptop Jockey girl who has all hijacked music (she stole it from a KJ she worked for!), Hopefully she will go down. Another KJ is running multiple systems using copied harddrives. I have been in the biz since late 90s and have purchased ALL my SC discs, plus I have bought mp3g files from such places as Zoom & Karaokedownloads.com. I have seen the laptop trend in the last few years. First it was laser disc, then cdgs and now computers. I have had people ask me why not use laptop. As an old sckool KJ I prefer to use CDG players. There are pros to using it. No harddrive to crash! Lately, there has been a host of new KJs sporting laptops. They came out of no wheres. It has taken me years and thousands of dollars to build my system. I know many of these new laptop jockeys got their music of the back of a truck or from another KJ friend. The problem now as others have stated, the onslaught of laptop jockeys has driven the price down and makes it more difficult to get gigs. There are KJs in my area running several systems and hiring karaoke wannabe KJs to run the shows for them. I dont blame SC for going after the the shady KJs and those with mulitple systems but I think they are taking it a little too far. If it werent for KJs there be no karaoke bizness to begin with. Sound Choice was always the best in the business but failed to keep up with technology and brought this upon themselfs. No one wants to pay $30 for a disc with 3 good songs. In the old days we had no choice. Technology has changed that. SC start selling your tracks indivually like Zoom, Sunfly & BuyKaraokedownlaods does. Using the lowest form of life on earth /lawyers to go out and litigate with KJs who dont have any money is just bad for your name and business. I dont know any KJs that are rich and I have been in karaoke since the days of laser discs. Serve the venue a cease n desist. That should be enough to shut them down. Sell the tracks indivually and get back in the business of making great karaoke tracks. For those of you who have bootleg music, run multiple systems and havent paid your dues YOU are the reason it has come to this! If you arent willing to make the monetary investment and help keep the KJ wages up then get the F out of the business. Simple as that. Ive spent thousands of dollars building my systems so yeah I get a little pissed when some cutsie girl or karaoke dork comes along with a laptop loaded with cheap or stolen music and steals gigs or under bids one.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Nigel Gandara Officially Served Libel Lawsuit From Sound Choice

    http://karaokeusa.forumotion.com/t34-nigel-gandara-officially-served-libel-lawsuit-from-sound-choice

    ReplyDelete
  36. I bought SC's concrete collection way back in the beginning (30 CD's x 15 songs = approx. 450 tunes.) I added tunes that I found under everyone's label just to build my repertoire, but it was a nightmare keeping up with re-doing the songbooks.

    I saw where Sound Choice must have gotten sideways with someone in the Eagles' organization at one time when one of the disks had the music playing without the words. I preferred SC's rendition in most cases, and would pay a premium to get the songs from them. Even still you might find a single song on a separate CD, pay the full price for the CD and get several duplicate copies of other songs you had elsewhere in your original collection, again creating confusion with editing songbooks, and throwing money away on either duplicated or unwanted material.

    I experimented with my setup, doing private shows for friends mostly. After awhile some of my friends referred me to restaurant and tavern owners, and I worked a few jobs here and there, just to supplement my income at the time and have a little fun.

    The issue is simple...somebody needs to offer individual songs at a decent price that are easily added to a master collection by a simple method. Price them competitively so that even a part-time or hobbyist KJ can afford them, and the money will start flowing in again. By not doing this companies like SC have set themselves and the KJs up for failure.

    Sounds like SC (or whomever they sold out to) needed a good A/R man to negotiate with the music world and cut through all the red tape involved in copyrighting, and yes, since I am sure SC spent some bucks and time negotiating to use the song melodies and lyrics, as well as paid for the right to use these pieces, they should somehow reap their due reward for their efforts thus far.

    Money most often pits us against each other, rather than unifying our efforts. A pity!

    Someone needs to come up with a unified way of addressing the issues facing the provision of good songs at a reasonable price, in flexible download or hardcopy formats. Karaoke is a great thing to offer to people. Music and song can make your spirit lighthearted. It can give you hope for a better tomorrow, all you have to do is follow Paul McCartney's advice..."so let it out, and let it in, Hey Jude, Begin...!"

    The artists are the ones to reach out to...they could make something happen if you could approach them with such a unified effort. Perhaps this is my official entre' into the music business?

    Southern Influence

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  37. I got accused of running multiple shows simultaneously, but they backed off when I pointed out that one guy with one set of karaoke discs (Yes, discs.) and one laptop/hard drive can't possibly be in two places at the same time. They grudgingly conceeded the point, and told me that "I better get legal with any systems I may have in my possession". I agree that piracy is a crime that should be punished, but SC is going about this with some pretty underhanded tactics. I frankly got damn tired of lugging around close to a hundred pounds of karaoke discs. That's the problem here; they are just shooting a scattergun at every KJ who works from a laptop without even BOTHERING to check into their alegations. Seriously, what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. doesnt apply in civil cases and media shifting with out permission in advance is not allowed

      Delete
    2. The media shifting portion will be thrown out once it gets in front of a judge. That is just ridiculous. You don't need permission for that.

      Delete
    3. check again...at least 3 judges have UPHELD it(the media-shifting portion)...AND ruled against venues for vicarious liability as well

      Delete
    4. Please cite these three cases specifically, otherwise you are just spreading rumor.

      Delete
  38. I agree with Southern Influence. SC has kind of "shot themselves in the foot" I chose to get out of the business long ago. They have been "ripping off" KJs for years. Re-releasing CDGs with the same song on them. Are all their songs Copyrighted? I never signed an agreement to use a license. I should be able to copy a disc that i paid for to a HD, if that is what I wish to do. SC get with times let peeps download "songs" like itunes. Then make people agree to licenses. Look what the music industry has done. Seems to be thriving to me. I would have njo problem paying 1.50 or 2 a song for SONGS THAT I WILL USE. Come on SC and CB lets move on with the times!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I believe the piracy situation is out of hand and Sound Choice has every right to protect its property and content, however I really question their approach. They are strictly going after piracy and not doing ANYTHING to bolster their business. Chartbuster has teamed with Compuhost to offer a credit system of buying their tracks, Sunfly and a host of British Manufacturers are offering Mp3+G content on line. Sound Choice is not offering any innovation in getting legal content to KJ's, and that is too bad. It appears to me that Sound Choice is really resigned to going out of business and they are just going to try to keep collecting on content they have already produced and not received payment for. I guess it is their choice to do that, but if it was me, I would be thinking of all kinds of ways to get my content into the hands of KJ's while going after those who are not paying. The Gem Series is a good option, but sorry that is not enough, they need to do more with distribution and hopefully after they generate more revenue they can renew some of the licensing on tracks they have in the can that they cannot sell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you read the terms of use for Sunfly and the British manufacturers they do state "worldwide" use "except the USA and Canada" the laws here do not allow for downloads to be legal. I applaud the ChartBuster/Compuhost, MediaPro HD and the ability to buy credits to unlock songs as you choose. Purcasing the MediaPro at 199.00 (includes 50 credits)and Compuhost at $199.00 and them being able to buy credits as low as $1.59 per song works well for those who wish to use Compuhost as their hosting program. For some Compuhost is not a good fit therefore the MediaPro is not the best option...for others they prefer to buy on sale and receive all the CB tracks at less than 1/3 the credit cost(to unlock each media pro song) or purchase SC Gems. Until the laws are changed in the USA allowing for commercial downloads SC and all other US manufactures hands are tied. I also look foward to new SC tracks

      Delete
    2. Au contraire. As a kj I have found that not only can I buy Sunfly tracks from other websites online here in America, but also DIRECTLY from Sunfly's website.

      Delete
  40. simply put sc 7500

    This disc outlines exactly a how too and tools to be used by the KJ authorized and distributed by Sound choice themselves...! if they claim we are doing something illegal by doing shows for the public for $$$ then why supply us with the tools and might i add the right to fly their logo! This is a utility disc not a musical rendition disc! in my eyes they're authorizing me or any other KJ with the purchase of this utility disc to fly the sound choice logo! therefor squashing their claim as too a individual per sale claim of a logo infringement! It even states in one of the utilities created by sound choice to support your local karaoke establishment by paying monitory moneys by purchasing food drinks and etc. under this we can obviously conclude sound choice understands payment to the KJ is accepted by them for services provided by the KJ and one using this utility disc sc 7500 "The Utility Disc" supplied by them Sound Choice!

    Utility- "something useful or designed for use"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. additionally once sound choice supplied kjs with the purchased sc 7500 "utility disc" with the right to use any or all of its contents which was designed for use by KJs including the "sound choice" logo as advertisement for Sound Choice by Sound Choice...! It can be argued that at anytime during a show when their logo becomes present it is authorized by Sound Choice!

      Delete
  41. Apparently none of you have seen this.
    dan-dan-is-11-but-not-allowed-to-shift-without-sc-permission-case-closed

    The crux of this is that an Arizona court found in favor of Sound Choice concerning trademark copyright infringement. Since they would never be able to win an argument over simply format shifting their song tracks they have opted to make displaying their logo from a format shifted media without their permission illegal.

    Their reasoning is that when you format shift without their permission you degrade the quality of their original product and by displaying their trademark while performing the degraded format shifted tracks in public you are impugning the quality of the Sound Choice brand.

    Now taking into account that the audit does not include a quality test of the format shifted song tracks, and that the quality issues is not an issue if you submit to an audit, its plain to see that this is just a legal ploy to force legitimate KJ's into submitting to an audit.

    Its unbelievable to me how may KJ's think this is acceptable and continue to support Sound Choice in this. Some wear the fact that they submitted to an audit like it were a badge of honor. They need to trade that badge in for a dunce cap.

    The trademark copyright infringement is the only ammo Sound Choice has. Let's take away that ammo and send a clear message to them and any other company that tries to follow in their footsteps.

    I propose that every KJ remove all format shifted Sound Choice song tracks from their hard drive(s). I assure you that virtually all their songs can be replaced with other brands. If you absolutely cannot get by without Sound Choice song tracks then play them only from the original disc.

    You paid good money for those Sound Choice discs and you need to stand up for your right to not pay for them again. Piracy is hard on all of us but nobody has the right to step on you while trying to recoup their losses.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Is there anyone from Sound Choice reading this blog? If so, I want/need a way to purchase your music digitally. I'm starting a karaoke restaurant and have set aside about $50,000 for my music. I prefer Sound Choice but I absolutely WILL NOT make my employees fumble with discs in this digital age.

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  43. Stop whining about people protecting their right to make money. If you went to work as a history teacher and the school secretly videotaped your lectures, fired you, and then taught classes using the recording for the next 15 years, I'm sure that you'd be screaming about protecting your right to make money!

    Also, I love all of the armchair "attorneys" out there. "That's legal in my mind." It doesn't matter what's in YOUR mind. The law is what the legislatures and the courts say it is. In addition, before spouting off about the Fourth Amendment, you might want to ACTUALLY READ the Constitution and realize that most of the protections found in the Bill of Rights apply against the government, not private entities.

    Moreover, in my best Andy Rooney voice: Is it just me or can no one on this site freaking spell? Even if you can't spell very well...two words: "spell checker"!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Spinoff Blog Ideas (Subject to Copyright Protections):

    "Copyright Infringers and Those Who Whine About Getting Sued Over Getting Caught Suck"?

    "People Who Slept through Government Class in High School and then Blog About All They Learned from L.A. Law Suck"

    "People Who Can't Spell Suck"?

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  45. Why do people need to be so extreme? Deep down inside where you don't have the guts to go with your lack of honesty and greed, you know it's wrong to use pirated music to make money. That's why you're all sooooo defensive! Good business ethic is rare in karaoke... Probably because it is usually used as entertainment in BARS/NIGHTCLUBS/DRINKING PARTIES. Involve alcohol or any other mind altering substance and you probably have a mix of perfectly sound-minded business persons. That type of person absolutely does not care if he or she kills opportunity for honest people. They are not the sharing kind.

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  46. Efirst,
    you can contact SC directly and get the Gem series. It is easy to load and designed to be used digitally. It is a product that appears to fit your needs. Good luck and Thank you for being an honorable person.
    KjAthena
    Goodtime Karaoke Inc

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    Replies
    1. I would say the Gem Series is a "start." However, I have much larger needs. I have a business strategy of "Go big or go home." I'm using two Bose L1 Model II with 4 subs. I could quite literally play a football statium with this system. There's got to be a decent karaoke manufacturer/distributor willing to find a way to break through into the digital age in a big way. Who knows, maybe they'll start making some of their money they've been missing out on.

      Delete
  47. THE KARAOKE KJs WITH STOLEN MUSIC NEED TO GET THE F OUT OF THE BUSINESS. YOU ARE A CROOK, A THIEF NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT. YOU DIDN'T PAY YOUR DUES. I MAKE IT A POINT TP REPORT EVERY KJ I SEE THAT I KNOW HAS STOLEN MUSIC. THEY THINK I AM THEIR FRIEND BUT I AM NOT. WHY SHOULD I BE FRIENDS WITH A FELLOW KJ THAT STOLE MUSIC AND IN EFFECT STOLE A KARAOKE GIG FROM A LEGIT KJ? FAR AS THE VENUES ARE CONCERNED, I HAVE EMAILED SEVERAL AND ADVISED THEM OF THEIR SHADY KJs AND YET THERY CONTINUE TO HIRE THEM. I ASK THE VENUE WHAT IF A BAR(s) OR RESTURANT(s) OPENED UP ACROSS THE STREET AND WAS GETTIBG FREE FOOD & ALCOHOL? THERE BY TAKING BUSINESS AWAY? I HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR SHADY KJs & VENUES THAT KNOWINGLY HIRE THEM.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you wish more people felt this way
      KjAthena
      Goodtime Karaoke

      Delete
  48. 10,000 tracks are a lot of songs. I think anyone with 50,000 tracks has stolen music...

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  49. Believe it or not, we are finding more and more people even with 10,000 and below songs that seem to have been duked into buying the drives with no disc, no proof of where it came from. In fact, we had a guy call us for a cavs 105g usb package and a cavs scdg disc (the actual one, lol.. Sorry, had to say that since so many people out there are not doing the right thing). Fair price was $208 for the player and a couple hundred songs. The guy proceeds to tell us that another store (can you believe it, a store!) offered him not only the player, but added an external drive and 6,000 songs. Now wait for it... All for $499.99 and I even believe he said they were upgrading his player to the one that cost about $90 more. So if you take into account the cost of the product, shipping. There was most likely less than $150 set aside for all that amazing music!!! We simply asked the customer if he cared whether or not it was possibly pirated. He actually did care (always have to ask that because there are many that do not). We instructed him to start asking very smart questions to see if he gets a reply in writing. We supplied the right questions to this person and the company that was so excited to sell him this package all of a sudden was silent. He spoke to us I believe about a week ago and verified that they never replied to him again after he asked what we call the right questions in writing. I would never look at people who buy pirated music as truly bad human beings. Yet we would at least tell you this much based upon how much it has hurt our business. If you had asked me if I had a position before I ever even got into this field, I would of been neutral on the subject. Because we know for a fact that we lose so many sales over others cheating the system, not playing by the rules. We have no choice but to bleed over this and simply beg those of you that do not believe it hurts anyone to truly think again.

    MADPROAUDIO ~ DISABLED VETERAN ~ FAMILY OWNED

    ReplyDelete
  50. Here's one for you...

    You heir the best tuna fisherman with the cleanest boats and the most advanced anti-dolphin safety devices.
    You then buy the most hygienic processing and canning factory known to man.
    Your product is finer than anything that has ever been brought to market in entire history of the tuna industry.

    You still can't sell it as STARKIST even if it's BETTER than the original!!!

    They own the name and the trademark, and they own the right to say where and when it can be used.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  52. The lawsuit filed in the Seattle area was kind of a Joke in that it seemed like they went through the Karaoke News Paper, found who ran shows on computers and named 21 of them at one shot.

    One person was told they didn't have much time to make a choice between an audit or settling because they had already filed and could find his address for months.

    Having seen the paperwork the KJ's who were settling would have to go around to Karaoke Shows and drop off SC Pamphlets explaining the lawsuits against KJ's, Karaoke company's, and business.
    After the various stipulations they added that the persons/business' settling could not discuss the terms of the agreement with anyone.

    Why the secrecy? Don't want to look like the A's that they are I guess. In later lawsuits the stipulations were changed and one of the things omitted was having to pedal their pamphlets.

    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete