February 13, 2014
Japanese Society for Rights of Authors,
Composers and Publishers
Injunction on acts of copyright infringement and claim for damages
against Karaoke lease company
The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) today filed an action with the Nagoya District Court against a Karaoke lease company, "Sanku," and its representative requesting prohibition of use of Karaoke and a claim for damages accrued from copyright infringement. The company, located in Naka Ward, Nagoya City, leased Karaoke machines to restaurants for which license agreements with JASRAC for the use of its repertoire have not been concluded.
In leasing Karaoke machines to premises, such as restaurants, hotels, etc., Karaoke lease companies generally have duty of care to verify whether premises who wish to lease the machines have concluded license agreements for the use of musical works. However, the company in question did not fulfill its duty, and despite JASRAC's repeated urging, the company failed to fully inform and make requests to such premises regarding license applications, and did not remove the Karaoke machines from those premises. Up to 30 restaurants that were customers of the company continued to use Karaoke machines without concluding license agreements with JASRAC.
JASRAC explained to the company in question about the liabilities of Karaoke lease companies in detail, and urged it to remedy the copyright infringements at the locations where they had leased machines. However, the company has taken no measures, such as the termination of lease contracts or discontinuation of the provision of Karaoke machines, and simply continued to conduct its lease business.
Given the fact that most Karaoke lease companies explain to their customers the necessity for copyright clearance, and confirm the existence of license agreements with JASRAC upon conducting their lease businesses properly, for the sake of fairness as well, this incident cannot be ignored.
As described above, for the purpose of encouraging this Karaoke lease company to fulfill its appropriate duty of care and remedy the copyright infringements taking place at their customers' premises where music is used without authorization, JASRAC has taken legal action.
It is the first time in the Tokai region and the eighth time in the nation, that JASRAC has taken legal action against a Karaoke lease company.
JASRAC-International Relations Department: