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Chuck Berry 2005

Chuck Berry sues US karaoke firms

http://news.bbc.co.uk

BBC News

Nov 10 / 2005

By the BBC News stab

Singer Chuck Berry has sued three US karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his hits without paying royalties. He seeks several hundred thousand dollars for each of the songs including Johnny B Goode and My Ding-A-Ling.

The 79-year-old US rock and roll star names karaoke distributors UAV Corp, Madacy Entertainment and Top Tunes Inc in his legal action.

The three US companies were unavailable for comment.

Unlike many recording stars of his era, Berry owns all the publishing rights to his songs, his lawyers said.

The singer also claims the firms failed to obtain licences to sell karaoke versions of his songs, including the track Maybellene.

Having blended blues with pop, 1950s and 1960s star Berry received a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1984.

Several copyright holders of lesser-known songs took similar legal action at Los Angeles District Court on Wednesday.

They seek royalties that have allegedly gone uncollected on more than 24 songs in total.

Karaoke began in Japan as a nightclub novelty but US karaoke record labels generate a total revenue of $50m (28m) per year, the New York Times estimated.


Singer Chuck Berry sues karaoke distributors

www.leadingthecharge.com

Leading The Charge

Nov 10 / 2005

By Kemp Powers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock'n'roll pioneer Chuck Berry has sued three leading karaoke music distributors, claiming they sold sing-along versions of his most popular hits without paying royalties or obtaining licenses.

If he prevails in court, Berry, 79, stands to gain several hundred thousand dollars for each of his songs, including such hits as "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene" and "My Ding-A-Ling" his lawyer, Peter Haviland, told Reuters on Wednesday.

His lawsuit filed on Monday names three leading karaoke distributors in North America - UAV Corp. of Fort Mill, South Carolina, Madacy Entertainment of Montreal and Top Tunes Inc. of Hilliard, Ohio. Representatives from the three companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

Karaoke is a sing-along genre that originated in Japan largely as a nightclub novelty has turned into a highly lucrative retail business as it increasingly moves from bar and restaurant lounges to family living rooms.

Haviland also represents several copyright holders of lesser-known songs who filed similar actions in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The suits seek royalties that are alleged to have gone uncollected on more than two dozen songs in all.

Unlike many recording stars of his era, Berry owns all the publishing rights to his songs through his Isalee Music Co, his attorneys said.

A New York Times article in May estimated the collective revenues generated by karaoke record labels at $50 million a year.


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