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    I have a large CD+G collection, including Sound Choice. I am an ‘occasional’ weekend KJ at private events and local restaurants. I rip my CD+Gs on a one to one basis and use them on a single rig. I can prove I own every song on my rig with a physical CD+G backing me up.

    I recently came across Phoenix Entertainment Partners (PEP), owners of Sound Choice and more recently of Chartbuster, “media shift” licensing program information. Basically, if you ‘register’ more than 10 Sound Choice CD+G discs, they want an initial licensing fee of around $100.00 and then monthly fees of $199.00 for a single rig.

    Scared the you know what out of me!

    However, then I saw at the bottom of their page that participants in some legal suit with/ against them are barred from enrolling in the licensing program. Meaning either, I guess, that there may be pending action to disallow this program or that PEP hopes to really put the screws to the other party.

    Then I came across this:

    It appears that this is far from a settled issue.

    How are others here dealing with this issue?


    Ryan Sherr

    Hi Dftweedie,

    I think when they state “that participants in some legal suit with/ against them are barred from enrolling in the licensing program” they mean that any KJ/Venue they are currently suing for copyright infringement can’t enroll. That they can’t be protected now by getting licensed, as it’s too late…

    Since they own the copyrights to both the SC and CB catalogs now, they can enforce their media shifting policies legally.

    It’s an odd scenario from my high-level view of things, but I do think it’s all within their legal rights.


    Thanks for the article dftweedie . So let me clarify to you from first hand experience here. The only thing SC owns and goes after people for displaying is their trademark (logo). SC does NOT own the rights to the music or anything else beside their trademark. So therefore there is no copyright infringement issue. They send out people to shake down KJs and follow up with the owners of the establishment the KJ does the gig at. Now this is where it gets funny. Saying that they are going to sue for 2 million dollars every time the SC trademark has been displayed. They use the courts as a threat and kind of act like the mafia shaking people down until the establishment gets so scared they settle by paying $10,000-$12,000. So this awesome chick in Texas took the logo out, SC took her to court and lost. Its a trademark issue which ain’t shit. When someone (Kevin Cable )stands up to them they back down, drop the case. Kevin go funded his lawyer fees, go Kev! They have not won a single case and just lost the last appeal they filed. They are greedy bullies who need to treat the people who made them who they are today with respect and appreciation. Word is they are gonna be hit with a class action lawsuit they should quit while they are ahead. I would hate to be around when their karma catches up with them.



    Echonation … Thanks for the great update. I’ve been reading more on this on the KJ Scene website. There is a lawyer who posts there that works for or is a principle with Phoenix. He gets trashed a lot, but is certainly a ‘grinder.’ There has been lots of discussion of the nature of the court cases. Anyway, I’m no longer concerned.

    As I understand it, Phoenix sold their SC catalog to Stingray … but that is not the same as rights to the SC trademark. Funny concept that you could own the name to a product trademark and not own the product.


    First of all, let me state I am not a lawyer, but I am aquainted with the lawer that works for Phoenix Entertainment. The following is my OPINION only.

    The confusion comes from the fact that karaoke has multiple rights. The most important being the original sound recording. But those sound recordings do have a trademark attached to them, and PEP does have a say in how they are used.

    that being said:

    The $199 fee mentioned is for the right to display the trademarks of the ENTIRE soundchoice catalog of 18,000 tracks.

    Here’s the problem: altho soundchoice is paying fees to the copyright owners of the original music *Sony EMI etc* which would make it legal to copy the tracks, they are NOT paying any fees to STINGRAY who are the current copyright owners of the sound recordings.

    Now I figure the way this is supposed to work, is that soundchoice meant this as a way to use multiple copies of the soundchoice discs that you already own.

    That being said tho, if you are the owner of a signicicant amount of soundchoice discs there are three things you can do
    1. Use the Dics as they were meant to be used,on original cd_g format
    2. Pay for an audit to ensure that you have what they call a 1:1 corrispondance for the mediashifting
    3. Stop Using soundchoice.

    I have dealt with Jim Harrington, Phoenix Entertainment’s principle lawyer and found him to be EXTREMELY accommodating and reasonable.

    Phoenix has frequently waived the audit fee for those who truly couldn’t afford it, but it is on a case by case basic, and you do have to ASK THEM

    hope that clairifies things for some people




    Just in case you have trademarking concern such as the use of logo, tagline and a brand name, you may check this one, they will also provides you some unique naming suggestions and advice pertaining to license acquisitions.

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