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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Karaoke bars that lost in copyright lawsuit foreshadow prolonged legal battle

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Karaoke and karaoke bars in New York and New Jersey, having lost a music copyright lawsuit, are bracing for an extended legal fight with the plaintiff, Elohim EPF USA.

Younghoon Ji, a partner at Ahne & Ji LLP and defender of New York-based karaoke operators in a music copyright lawsuit, submitted an amicus curiae brief on February 20 and said that he plans a press conference to counter Elohim’s allegations.

The dispute stands amidst the validity of the plaintiff’s publishing contract and the legality of playing the songs at these venues. The court concluded victory for the plaintiff last December.

The law firm alleges that Elohim USA targeted the area to unfairly demand copyright fees from karaoke venue operators.

Group of happy asian friends are having fun, singing in karaoke club
Karaoke operators in New York area are seeking to continue copyright battle against Elohim USA.


“We’ll submit an online amicus brief to the court contesting Elohim USA’s claims,” Ji stated, noting, “Elohim USA is expected to file their final rebuttal by no later than February 27.”

Ji mentioned that the Korean Entertainment Association USA Inc., a coalition of Queens-Manhattan area karaoke venue operators, is organizing a press conference expected to feature 20 to 30 karaoke business owners.

“At the press conference, we’ll expose the harshness of Elohim USA’s royalty demands from business owners,” stated Ji, “and we’re prepared to pursue every legal measure available.”

According to the defendant, the seven songs ‘So Cool’, ‘Push Push’, ‘Sal Man Jji Go’, ‘Ni Kka Jit Ge’, ‘Ga Sik Gol’, ‘Bae A Pa’, and ‘Hot Boy’, which were confirmed to be copyrighted by Elohim EPF USA, have been deleted from the defendant’s karaoke machine

Namhyun Yoo, Elohim USA’s Northeast Region head, had stated the company intends to seek copyright fees from New York area-based karaoke operators, following last December’s court ruling.

BY MINHYE KANG, HOONSIK WOO [kang.minhye@koreadailyny.com]