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Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely not. Midi karaoke files are synthesized, poor quality sound files. The karaoke files on our drives are mp3+g, (standard karaoke format, and mp3 quality.)

An mp3+g (or mp3 + graphic file) is a single file, comprised of two file zipped together; an audio mp3 file (the music), and a cdg graphic file (the onscreen lyrics). This format can be played in many of the DJ programs on the market today, like PCDJ, Virtual DJ, show presenter, Club DJ Pro, etc. and there are also programs designed specifically to run a karaoke show, like Sax & Dotty, Karma, etc.

Playing karaoke songs from a hard drive is as simple as playing an mp3. Karaoke playing software will allow you to see the words in a small window within the program, on the same laptop. You can maximize that window and use your laptop to display the words. Or, to show the lyrics on a second display/tv, your laptop needs to have a video card with multi-monitor support. Most laptops/desktops already have this capability. If yours does, you can enable it with a few clicks within Windows, and you'll see the lyrics another tv or monitor, while you see the program on your laptop.

Most laptops built over the last 6 years or so have multi-monitor capability. This basically means there are two or more outputs from your video card. This allows you to connect to a second monitor or TV to your laptop using an s-video, dvi, or vga cable. If you look on your laptop, and see two or more of these connections, then you're ready to go. Depending on your operating system and video card, it takes just a couple of clicks to enable it through windows. The karaoke software recognizes the second monitor automatically and displays the lyrics on it.

You can start a monthly subscription for $19.99

Once you download the file, simply use a zip program to extract, and you'll see the disc folder with all the songs on that disc inside. The songs are already named and in mp3+g format, ready to play.

With every purchase, you'll receive technical support with setting up the software, running a show, etc. Included on the drive is a pretty comprehensive tutorial guide on how to get started, but of course if there's any questions I give my personal number out to every customer, in case you have any questions or concerns.

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Top Myths About Karaoke CD-G Users' Legal Rights

KJ Bill.com

By Robin D. Gross

February 2007

Little case law exists in the United States that specifically deals with a consumer’s legal rights to use Karaoke CD+Graphic (CDG) discs. The lack of case law in this area leads to uncertainty among consumers regarding the legality of different uses of a CDG disc. This legal uncertainty has also lead to intimidation and fear of lawsuits stemming from over-zealous threats from karaoke producers, music publishers or record companies who hope to extend their rights in an unchartered area.

Private consumers, karaoke hosting businesses (KJs), bars, restaurants, and others all make use of CDG discs in different ways and for different purposes. As a result, their legal rights may vary in some situations. In all cases, one should use a lawfully produced and acquired CDG disc (i.e., one which has been licensed by the music publishers for a CDG and that a person lawfully possesses). This article is intended to clear up some of the uncertainties and myths regarding what consumers can and cannot do with their lawfully acquired CDG discs.1

MYTH #1: Copyright law does not allow for copying a CDG disc for private non-commercial use.

TRUTH: Copyright law clearly allows a person to copy their lawfully acquired CDG for private non-commercial use.

MYTH #2: Copyright law forbids copying a CDG disc for any commercial purposes.

TRUTH: While a commercial use weighs against fair use, copyright law permits copying a CDG disc in a number of commercial circumstances. Commercial use, does not by itself, determine if it is an illegal use.

MYTH #3: A legal business owner can be liable for copyright infringement for hiring karaoke companies.  

TRUTH: Only those businesses who knowingly hire karaoke companies to play illegal CDG discs could be considered liable for infringement.

MYTH #4: A KJ must only use original CDG discs in commercial performances, never a copy.

TRUTH: There is no requirement that the original CDG disc must be used in a commercial performance by a KJ. Unless the KJ has waived his ordinary fair use rights to use a lawful CDG disc (by signing a contract), then he could expect to legally copy the files to his computer.

What Fair Use Would Not Privilege

  • Copying CDG discs from friends or family and using those unpaid for and copied discs for commercial purposes.
  • Selling or otherwise distributing unlicensed copies of CDG discs.
  • Buying hard drives that contain unlicensed CDG songs (usually for pennies per song, such as have been sold on eBay with 35,000 songs in the range of $400).
  • Downloading MP3+G or other digital format karaoke songs from an Internet site that does not have the right to digitally distribute the songs you purchase.
  • Knowingly performing karaoke songs that are not properly licensed by the copyright owners.
  • Space-shifting (format-shifting / importing) CDG discs onto a hard drive, then using both the original discs and one or more hard drive copies at the same time. A KJ must purchase a full set of CDG discs for each copy on a hard drive.

Civil and Criminal Penalties for Copyright Infringement

The penalties for copyright infringement can be surprisingly steep and include both civil (or money damages) and additionally criminal penalties, including jail-time for commercial infringements. 17 United States Code Section 504 holds an infringer of copyright liable for either

Footnotes

1. Caveat: This article applies only to United States copyright law and does not address situations where Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions have been illegally circumvented.

2. “Fair use” is a limitation on copyright owners’ exclusive right “to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies.” 17 U.S.C. § 106(1). It is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107, which provides:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.