Collection of copyright royalties from karaoke operators in China has made a major step forward as nearly 20 operators in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province, turned in their fees.

The China Audio & Video Association and China Copyright Society of Works of Music, which have been tasked with collecting the money by the National Copyright Administration, held a ceremony on Sunday in Shenzhen to salute the karaoke operators who are prepared to cooperate with the government agencies. Nearly a hundred record companies, including the China Record Corporation, EMI, and Warner Music Corporation, have authorized CAVA to protect their copyright.

So far, karaoke royalties have been collected in Beijing and dozens of other cities in Yunnan, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Shandong, Fujian, Liaoning, Guangdong and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is expected that the fee collection will also be initiated in Chongqing, Sichuan and Anhui by the end of this month.

Karaoke operators are required to pay a daily charge of CNY12 for each karaoke room, the amount is less in underdeveloped regions, for the use of musical and video products. Disputes have sounded angrily since the scheme was launched in September last year, with karaoke operators complaining the fee was too high and song composers arguing for an increase to CNY16-18.

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