KTV fans grouse over lyrics machine

08:54, December 24, 2009      

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A new initiative to add a special software on all karaoke machines in Chongqing to intercept songs with dirty lyrics is facing criticism after customers found two other new things on them: lottery games and hotel advertising.

The program, developed by the Cultural Market Development Center (CMDC) of the Ministry of Culture, is designed to disable the machine if a song with unsavory lyrics is found or selected.

The move was announced after 11 karaoke parlors were issued warnings by the Chongq-ing Municipal Bureau of Culture for offering vulgar songs in their music database.

However, after it was installed in 176 karaoke parlors in Chongqing, customers were surprised to find the additional functions, according to a report on hunan.voc.com.cn, a news website hosted by Hunan Daily.

The additional functions are not sitting well with karaoke fans who feel the government is using the program to make money, said the report.

Hu Yueming, the spokesman of CMDC, told the Global Times Tuesday that karaoke bosses who originally opposed the program due to its ability to track copyright violations, jumped on board after the new functions were added.

"The program was set to protect the copyright of audio-video products, which was not welcomed by karaoke bosses because they were used to free resources of audio-video products," Hu said. "Adding such functions will encourage the karaoke owners to fix the program, because they bring convenience to their customers to buy lottery."

Hu said that the program, originally developed in 2006, was launched in Chongqing as a pilot program and the extra functions were added by the local bureau of culture.

Zhang Wei, an employee at the Chongqing Construction Office of CMDC, told the Chongqing Economic Times that the revenue from hotel ads and lottery will go to the karaoke owners and ads companies, not to the government.

Hu told the Global Times that the program was scheduled to cover all the karaoke machines in Chongqing as soon as possible and would be promoted across the country later.

Source: Global Times

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