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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:55 am 
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Just some thoughts on karaoke lawsuits, history etc. Having been introduced to karaoke over 25 years ago by my father, I just have a few observations and my 2 cents. There was a gentleman named Daisuke Inoue, from Osaka Japan, who was the first to use tracks in 1971 and is considered the inventor of karaoke. Daisuke never patented his new found invention, just did it out of necessity. Had he patented it, the eventual makers of karaoke tracks such as laser discs, cassettes, cd's, and hard drives would all be paying Daisuke, and perhaps put an end to eventual law suits which would envelope the industry moving forward. I've noticed a marked decline of karaoke from areas where it once prospered. I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago and noticed only 2 karaoke venues near or on the strip from whence there were many. In Florida, karaoke use to show up 5 or so days a week at restaurants and bars and now there are none, except from the VFW, American Legion etc. Because there are many seniors, they don't buy lots of alcohol, just soda etc., so the karaoke host earns less money. Many of the venues pay less then $100 for a 4 hour show. When I was doing shows in Md. 10-15 years ago, we would earn over $200, using cd's. I guess the question begs, is it worth spending $1000s of dollars to make $100s of dollars, and the answer is no. As an example people in the AC industry here pay $250 for a State license and a $1000 for insurance however, they're making over a quarter million a year. In conclusion, with the industry in decline (in my area), and the heavy use of home karaoke machines, threat of lawsuits, I just do a few shows now for disabled vets, nursing homes. Just my 2 cents good luck to all.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:05 am 
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I'm starting a A/C company right now.. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:07 am 
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Capt Frank wrote:
Had he patented it, the eventual makers of karaoke tracks such as laser discs, cassettes, cd's, and hard drives would all be paying Daisuke, and perhaps put an end to eventual law suits which would envelope the industry moving forward.


If he had patented his invention (assuming, of course, that it could be patented, since it wasn't altogether different from what Mitch Miller was doing in the 1950s), that patent would have expired in the late 1980s, which would have put the invention in the public domain from that point forward.

_________________
Since there has been some confusion:
1. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. Statements I make here about legal issues are for informational purposes only.
2. I am an officer of Phoenix Entertainment Partners, but my opinions on matters not involving Phoenix's business are my own and may not reflect the opinions of the company.
3. If you have questions you'd like answered officially, you are welcome to email me at jim@phxep.com or send me a private message here.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:11 pm 
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JimHarrington wrote:
If he had patented his invention (assuming, of course, that it could be patented, since it wasn't altogether different from what Mitch Miller was doing in the 1950s), that patent would have expired in the late 1980s, which would have put the invention in the public domain from that point forward.

Can't one renew a patent (thus making your statement about being put into public domain not completely accurate)?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:54 am 
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cueball wrote:
JimHarrington wrote:
If he had patented his invention (assuming, of course, that it could be patented, since it wasn't altogether different from what Mitch Miller was doing in the 1950s), that patent would have expired in the late 1980s, which would have put the invention in the public domain from that point forward.

Can't one renew a patent (thus making your statement about being put into public domain not completely accurate)?


"He's dead Jim".. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:47 am 
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Capt Frank wrote:
Just some thoughts on karaoke lawsuits, history etc. Having been introduced to karaoke over 25 years ago by my father, I just have a few observations and my 2 cents. There was a gentleman named Daisuke Inoue, from Osaka Japan, who was the first to use tracks in 1971 and is considered the inventor of karaoke. Daisuke never patented his new found invention, just did it out of necessity. Had he patented it, the eventual makers of karaoke tracks such as laser discs, cassettes, cd's, and hard drives would all be paying Daisuke, and perhaps put an end to eventual law suits which would envelope the industry moving forward. I've noticed a marked decline of karaoke from areas where it once prospered. I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago and noticed only 2 karaoke venues near or on the strip from whence there were many. In Florida, karaoke use to show up 5 or so days a week at restaurants and bars and now there are none, except from the VFW, American Legion etc. Because there are many seniors, they don't buy lots of alcohol, just soda etc., so the karaoke host earns less money. Many of the venues pay less then $100 for a 4 hour show. When I was doing shows in Md. 10-15 years ago, we would earn over $200, using cd's. I guess the question begs, is it worth spending $1000s of dollars to make $100s of dollars, and the answer is no. As an example people in the AC industry here pay $250 for a State license and a $1000 for insurance however, they're making over a quarter million a year. In conclusion, with the industry in decline (in my area), and the heavy use of home karaoke machines, threat of lawsuits, I just do a few shows now for disabled vets, nursing homes. Just my 2 cents good luck to all.



8) You have hit the nail on the head today it is not worth it to even consider starting a karaoke business. Many former hosts like myself retired and I think it was a great time to do so. They say it is all about timing and for those of us that got in, made ours, and got out, the timing was perfect. The real reason places like non-profits pay little is not because seniors don't spend money, but rather they are not profit motivated since they exist for the benefit of the members. So when you are working such places expect to get paid less, on the other hand you don't have big brother PEP looking over your shoulder, since the copyright law protects non-profits from copyright suits under I believe section 10.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:51 am 
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jdmeister wrote:
cueball wrote:
JimHarrington wrote:
If he had patented his invention (assuming, of course, that it could be patented, since it wasn't altogether different from what Mitch Miller was doing in the 1950s), that patent would have expired in the late 1980s, which would have put the invention in the public domain from that point forward.

Can't one renew a patent (thus making your statement about being put into public domain not completely accurate)?


"He's dead Jim".. :mrgreen:


8) So all we have to wait for is for the Sleps to die?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:31 am 
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The Lone Ranger wrote:
Capt Frank wrote:
Just some thoughts on karaoke lawsuits, history etc. Having been introduced to karaoke over 25 years ago by my father, I just have a few observations and my 2 cents. There was a gentleman named Daisuke Inoue, from Osaka Japan, who was the first to use tracks in 1971 and is considered the inventor of karaoke. Daisuke never patented his new found invention, just did it out of necessity. Had he patented it, the eventual makers of karaoke tracks such as laser discs, cassettes, cd's, and hard drives would all be paying Daisuke, and perhaps put an end to eventual law suits which would envelope the industry moving forward. I've noticed a marked decline of karaoke from areas where it once prospered. I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago and noticed only 2 karaoke venues near or on the strip from whence there were many. In Florida, karaoke use to show up 5 or so days a week at restaurants and bars and now there are none, except from the VFW, American Legion etc. Because there are many seniors, they don't buy lots of alcohol, just soda etc., so the karaoke host earns less money. Many of the venues pay less then $100 for a 4 hour show. When I was doing shows in Md. 10-15 years ago, we would earn over $200, using cd's. I guess the question begs, is it worth spending $1000s of dollars to make $100s of dollars, and the answer is no. As an example people in the AC industry here pay $250 for a State license and a $1000 for insurance however, they're making over a quarter million a year. In conclusion, with the industry in decline (in my area), and the heavy use of home karaoke machines, threat of lawsuits, I just do a few shows now for disabled vets, nursing homes. Just my 2 cents good luck to all.



8) You have hit the nail on the head today it is not worth it to even consider starting a karaoke business. Many former hosts like myself retired and I think it was a great time to do so. They say it is all about timing and for those of us that got in, made ours, and got out, the timing was perfect. The real reason places like non-profits pay little is not because seniors don't spend money, but rather they are not profit motivated since they exist for the benefit of the members. So when you are working such places expect to get paid less, on the other hand you don't have big brother PEP looking over your shoulder, since the copyright law protects non-profits from copyright suits under I believe section 10.


For me it was always about the music and producing a great sound, more of a labor of love. It seems sound is not the goal for many karaoke hosts these days, maybe it's PEP looking over your shoulder. I've noted a market decline in quality of music, even though the advent of powered speakers make it easier to obtain awesome sound. It seems better singers buy the equipment and sing in the confines of their own home and will not venture out to horrible sounding shows. My hope was for karaoke to move forward and progress, with better pay, and actually I was for State licensure in the early days. However, that's not what has occurred, now you have mom/pop operations springing up, using some very inferior equipment like portables, and they have driven the market pay way down to the point that I won't truck out $6,000 worth of sound equipment for a low paying job. I seriously doubt that any of these people purchase licenses for very low pay. Today I mostly just do my own singing jobs and I've used icroons for years to buy tracks online and they are very good, in fact I use them as mp3's on singing shows I've done myself. These tracks are available especially for newer music.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:57 pm 
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cueball wrote:
Can't one renew a patent (thus making your statement about being put into public domain not completely accurate)?


No. Only trademark rights are indefinitely renewable. Copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, with some exceptions (such as corporate works, which are protected for 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation if unpublished).

A patent issued in 1970 would have expired in 1987; at that time, patents lasted for 17 years from issuance. (These days, patents last from issuance to 20 years after the filing date of the application, with some minimal exceptions.)

_________________
Since there has been some confusion:
1. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. Statements I make here about legal issues are for informational purposes only.
2. I am an officer of Phoenix Entertainment Partners, but my opinions on matters not involving Phoenix's business are my own and may not reflect the opinions of the company.
3. If you have questions you'd like answered officially, you are welcome to email me at jim@phxep.com or send me a private message here.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:45 am 
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Capt Frank wrote:

For me it was always about the music and producing a great sound, more of a labor of love. It seems sound is not the goal for many karaoke hosts these days, maybe it's PEP looking over your shoulder. I've noted a market decline in quality of music, even though the advent of powered speakers make it easier to obtain awesome sound. It seems better singers buy the equipment and sing in the confines of their own home and will not venture out to horrible sounding shows. My hope was for karaoke to move forward and progress, with better pay, and actually I was for State licensure in the early days. However, that's not what has occurred, now you have mom/pop operations springing up, using some very inferior equipment like portables, and they have driven the market pay way down to the point that I won't truck out $6,000 worth of sound equipment for a low paying job. I seriously doubt that any of these people purchase licenses for very low pay. Today I mostly just do my own singing jobs and I've used icroons for years to buy tracks online and they are very good, in fact I use them as mp3's on singing shows I've done myself. These tracks are available especially for newer music.


8) PEP could have looked over my shoulder all they wanted to, it would have done them no good since I didn't use their product. I ran a Golden Oldies show for years with DK, MM, PS, Sun Fly, Monster Hits, Priddis, CB, Zoom, and other labels as well. The one way I could shut PEP up was by not using their product, and I still had a great deal of success, over the 20 years I hosted. I have been retired over 2 years now and I don't regret my choice to sit it out. being over 70 now I'm too old to be hauling my rig around and setting it up in various locations. I to at one time wanted a simple operator's license for hosts, I think it would have been a better solution than HELP or any of the other vehicles that have come into being. At the time every other host thought I was crazy, a pirate sympathizer, or can I say it a pirate myself. Really all of this makes little difference since forces beyond anyone's control seem to be guiding the fate of karaoke hosting. Even Jim and PEP are small potatoes and can't do much to change the general landscape, deal with it guys.


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