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INTRODUCTION 24 25 26 27 Slep-Tone is the manufacturer and distributor of karaoke accompaniment tracks sold under the name “Sound Choice.” Slep-Tone was founded 25 years ago by Kurt and Derek Slep, two brothers with a vision to nurture the development of karaoke in America as a COMPLAINT – Page 1 Case:
Tavern, DDRT, LLC, Starmaker Karaoke and Debbie Harm 10 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 12 10001 Park Run Drive Las Vegas, Nevada 89145 (702) 382-0711 FAX:
Summary of the Case Karaoke emigrated from Japan in the early 1990s and is a multi-million dollar per year industry in the United States.
Slep-Tone is the manufacturer and distributor of karaoke accompaniment tracks sold under the trademark SOUND CHOICE.
Plaintiff Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation (“Slep-Tone”) is engaged in the business of creating and distributing karaoke accompaniment tracks.
INTRODUCTION 18 Plaintiff claims that its SOUND CHOICE trademarks have been infringed by various 19 “Karaoke Jockeys” (or “KJs” as Plaintiff defines this occupation in its Complaint) who 20 provide their karaoke entertainment services in various bar and restaurant venues in and 21 around Las Vegas, Nevada.
INTRODUCTION 3 This case arises out of Plaintiff’s claims that its SOUND CHOICE trademarks have 4 been infringed by various “Karaoke Jockeys” (or “KJs” as Plaintiff defines this occupation in 5 its Complaint) who provide their karaoke entertainment services in various bar and 6 restaurant venues in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, Slep-Tone improperly 12 joined this defendant with the other 32 defendant venue owners and 16 individual defendant 13 karaoke jockeys in violation of Fed.
Associates You are in receipt of this letter because you and/or your establishment have been reported as possible violators of trademarks owned by our client Sound Choice®, Sound Choice Studios, Inc. Sound Choice Studios, Inc. (SCS), and Slep‐Tone Entertainment Corporation (Slep‐Tone) are the creators of the popular line of karaoke music sold under the brand name Sound Choice®. Our firm represents SCS and Slep‐Tone (together, Sound Choice) in trademark infringement audits and investigations. Having been reported to APS & Associates as a possible violator of the Sound Choice trademark, APS on behalf of Sound Choice® has conducted an investigation/audit of your operations resulting in overwhelming evidence that substantiates the before mentioned claims of trademark violations. Based upon the recent investigation, we believe that you have been using pirated/unauthorized copies of Sound Choice songs in your karaoke shows, music that our clients spent a great deal of time, effort, and money to create and market. Our investigators and witnesses also observed you displaying the well known Sound Choice® logo during a recent karaoke show. As a result of that investigation and your actions, you may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court on the behalf of our client Sound Choice®, Sound Choice Studios, Inc. pursuant to an investigation for trademark infringement and unfair competition arising under §§ 32 and 43 of the Lanham Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114 and 1125. You may contact a representative of APS & Associates to resolve this matter prior to moving forward to litigation if you wish to bring this to a full resolution in the fastest and least expensive manner. You have 10 business days from the date of this letter to respond. Call: 623‐434‐1838 This letter does not constitute service of the lawsuit. However, if you do not contact our firm to discuss this matter, we will file in Federal Court and have the complaint served upon you. Any and all communication with you, your legal representative and or staff/employees past and present will be documented and recorded and may be used against you in a court of law. APS & Associates 3120 W. Carefree Hwy. Ste‐1‐#301 Phoenix, Arizona 85086 office: 623‐434‐1838 This message is designed to help you understand why, in our view; your actions are outside the law, and to encourage you to discuss a prompt and reasonable settlement in regard to this matter. Slep‐Tone distributes karaoke accompaniment tracks on compact discs, primarily in a format called CD+G, or "compact disc plus graphics." It does not distribute tracks on any other medium. If you obtained your Sound Choice tracks by downloading them, or by buying a preloaded hard drive or karaoke machine (generally referred to as a CAVS system), then you did not legally obtain your Sound Choice tracks. Another way that you can infringe Slep‐Tone's rights is by copying your CD+Gs to a hard drive in a way that violates our media‐shifting policy. The Sound Choice trademarks are protected under federal law. If you have infringed Sound Choice’s rights, your actions are punishable under federal law. If you play an illegal copy of a Sound Choice® song, the Sound Choice logo, which is a registered trademark, is displayed on your monitors. Because that illegal copy wasn’t produced by Sound Choice, displaying that logo is trademark counterfeiting. Federal law imposes damages of up to $200,000 for use of a counterfeit trademark and ten times that amount if the infringement was willful. The Court can also order your equipment to be seized and can stop you from running karaoke shows using Sound Choice songs. You may also be liable for copyright infringement if you did not pay royalties to the owner of copyright in the underlying musical work for the copies you made or acquired. Make no mistake, if you are playing a Sound Choice song and you do not own an original legal copy of the CD+G disk then you are committing trademark infringement. Additionally you must have a set of disks for each and every system in operation. Sound Choice does not want or intend to destroy your karaoke business. In fact, Sound Choice wants to help you get legal and stay legal, and we are creating an environment where legal KJs will have the advantage. For that reason, we are providing you with one opportunity to resolve this situation before we formally begin the lawsuit. If you respond to us within ten (10) days of the date on this letter, Sound Choice is willing to offer to settle with you on favorable terms that will allow you to continue to operate your karaoke business without violating Sound Choice’s rights. If you do not respond, we will arrange to have you served with the complaint. The more work we have to do and the more expenses we incur to prosecute this lawsuit, the more it will cost you to settle. Stated another way, it will never be as inexpensive to settle this matter and to get legal as it is right now. Your competitors are being offered the same deal, so it is important that you move quickly. Sound Choice wants the karaoke community to know that it has taken this step reluctantly. Despite the company’s reputation for the highest quality karaoke music available, it is a small company that has been hit hard by this piracy. Our only goal is to do what is necessary to help Sound Choice continue to produce the top‐quality music that is the lifeblood of karaoke. Without revenue, Sound Choice cannot make new music. Without new music, karaoke will die a slow death. In that sense, karaoke piracy is a theft not just from Sound Choice, but from everyone from the karaoke fan, to the KJ, to the venue. We encourage you to call today to begin resolving this situation, while you still have the opportunity to settle on favorable terms. If you have questions about your liability, you should consider consulting an attorney of your choice, since we cannot give you legal advice about this matter.
TAVERN, DDRT, LLC, STARMAKER KARAOKE, DEBBIE HARMS 15 v.
Tavern, DDRT, LLC, Starmaker Karaoke, Debbie Harm, Café Moda;
INTRODUCTION 18 Plaintiff’s entire action is premised on the assertion that certain Karaoke Jockey’s 19 (“KJs”) have committed an infringement by the unauthorized copying of Plaintiff’s karaoke 20 music tracks and lyrics.
INTRODUCTION 22 Counterfeits of Plaintiff’s registered trademarks are being used in connection with 23 pirated copies of its karaoke tracks which the Station Defendants1 use to produce 24 karaoke shows in their eating and drinking establishments.
Some of these co-defendants are actual “Karaoke Jockeys” who provide 16 karaoke entertainment services in restaurants and bars (or “KJs” as Plaintiff defines this 17 occupation in its Complaint), while others are the venues, i.e., the actual owners and/or 18 operators of the bars and restaurants in which the KJs provide their particular brand of 19 karaoke entertainment.
INTRODUCTION 21 22 Counterfeits of Plaintiff’s registered trademarks are being used in connection with 23 pirated copies of its karaoke tracks which the Treasure Island Defendants1 use to 24 produce karaoke shows in their eating and drinking establishments.
KJ Saschas Metal-Karaoke-Show Songliste (Stand 19.01.2015) A AC DC Highway to Hell AC DC Back In Black AC DC Highway to Hell AC DC Karaoke For Those About To Rock AC DC T N T Karaoke AC DC Thunderstruck AC DC Touch Too Much AC DC Whole lotta rosie AC DC You shook me all night long Accept Balls To The Wall Accept Fast as a shark Aerosmith &
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5:11-cv-32/RS-CJK _________________________________________/ JUDGMENT Procedural History If the number of defendants in this action is any indication, karaoke is popular in the various watering holes of the Northern District and throughout Florida.
ii POINTS AND AUTHORITIES Statement of facts Plaintiff, Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation (“Slep-Tone”) [and Piracy Recovery, LLC (“Piracy Recovery”) which claims to be the successor- in- interest to certain rights formerly belonging to Chartbuster Karaoke] (referred to collectively as “Slep-Tone”)] has in multiple federal district court venues across the country sued hundreds of karaoke hosts (“karaoke jockeys” or “KJs”) and karaoke venues seeking damages for the alleged unauthorized display of the Sound Choice [and Chartbuster] logo(s) which Slep-Tone claims constitutes trademark infringement.
Produce a copy of all documents evidencing the allegation made in paragraph 24 of the Complaint filed in the above-entitled action that DJ Tara King Productions and Tara King are providing karaoke entertainment at multiple venues in Nevada using multiple karaoke systems.
INTRODUCTION 21 22 Counterfeits of Plaintiff’s registered trademarks are being used in connection with 23 pirated copies of its karaoke tracks which the PT’S Defendants1 use to produce karaoke 24 shows in their eating and drinking establishments.