Private Karaoke Rooms Deemed Sufficiently Public ​to Constitute Public Performance

The court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment that their alleged conduct did not constitute an infringement of plaintiff’s public performance right and rejected defendants’ argument that their establishments were not sufficiently public under § 106. “⁠[U]nlike the traditional American style of karaoke, the Korean karaoke displays and performances take place in private rooms and are seen and heard by only small groups. Defendants argue ‘there is no “public” aspect to the displays or performances that occur in the private rooms of Defendants’ venues.’ . . . Similar to the video rental stores in Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. v. Redd Horne, Inc., 749 F.2d 154 (3d Cir. 1984), and Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc. v. Aveco, Inc., 800 F.2d 59 (3d Cir. 1986), any member of the public could pay the karaoke room rental-fee to perform songs at Defendants’ establishments. Although Defendants’ customers can sing their karaoke songs in private rooms, the existence of the private rooms does not diminish the fact that these establishments are open to the public. Because Defendants’ karaoke bars and clubs are public places, the ‘public’ element of a ‘public performance’ is satisfied . . . .”

Beom Su Lee v. eBay Inc. et al, 2-17-cv-05179 (CACD 2018-02-08, Order) (Stephen V. Wilson)

2018-02-13T13:41:02+00:00February 13th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|