Is it true that you now own the Chartbuster Karaoke® trademarks and associated trade dress?
Yes. We formally acquired the Chartbuster Karaoke® federally registered trademarks and all associated trade dress on November 11, 2015. If you check the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you can verify that we are the owner of those registered marks.
How can you own trademarks on a product another company made?
Trademarks are a form of intellectual property rights (similar to patents and copyrights) that can be transferred between entities as long as certain rules are followed. Companies buy and sell their brands frequently, even among direct competitors.
Are you planning to sell the Chartbuster back catalog? What about new material?
We offer past Chartbuster tracks, discs, and other media for direct purchase from our website from time to time. However, these items are limited and will by no means constitute the entire back catalog. We may also make selected new tracks available under the Chartbuster brand.
How can I buy Chartbuster discs and other media?
You can buy some Chartbuster media directly from us via this website. You are also welcome to buy any legitimate original Chartbuster media in the "secondary" (used) market. eBay is a popular source for buying and selling used discs and other media. But be careful, because not everything that's available in secondary markets is original. There are many unscrupulous dealers. You should avoid purchasing hard drives preloaded with Chartbuster tracks from anyone, unless the hard drive was originally sold by Chartbuster.
Digitrax Entertainment (http://www.digitraxentertainment.com
) offers many tracks that use the Chartbuster masters, as well as new material, in single-song downloads and subscription formats.
What is your media-shifting policy for Chartbuster Karaoke® media?
Briefly stated, the historical policy for Chartbuster Karaoke® media (prior to our acquisition of the marks) was (a) media-shifting is not allowed without permission, and (b) permission can be obtained through an annual certification process that includes an audit to verify 1:1 correspondence between original and non-original media, plus payment of a fee.
The new policy significantly loosens the historical policy. The new policy is as follows:
(1) Media-shifting is not allowed without our permission.
(2) To get our permission, you must:
- Own, possess, and not otherwise use Original Media that correspond, on a 1-original-to-1-non-original basis, to all of the Non-Original Media that are in Commercial Use. This is known as "1:1 correspondence."
- Register and remain in good standing with the Chartbuster Karaoke Media Registration Program, fulfilling all requirements provided in the program description.
How do I register my Chartbuster Karaoke® media?
Information about how to register is found on the Chartbuster Karaoke Media Registration Program page
and in the program description
In short, you'll need to provide:
- Basic information about you and your company
- Basic information about your karaoke system(s)
- A list of the Chartbuster media on your karaoke system(s)
- A photo or two of the Chartbuster media you own, just to confirm that you own it
You will also be asked to provide information to determine if you qualify for a reduced-fee or free registration.
Do I have to register my Chartbuster Karaoke® media?
If you're using media-shifted copies of Chartbuster Karaoke media to provide commercial karaoke services, yes, you must register, or you run the risk of being sued for trademark and trade dress infringement.
You are welcome to use original Chartbuster Karaoke media—not copies, but originals—for any purpose, including playing commercial karaoke shows. This includes media other than CD+G discs, such as Super CDGs, SD cards, and hard drives, as long as you're using the original, not a copy. If you are in this situation, we encourage you to register anyway, at no charge.
How much does registration cost?
The following fee schedule applies to registrations for the Program:
|For Users who certify that they only play Chartbuster Karaoke® tracks from their original media (including playing directly from hard drives purchased from Chartbuster)
|For Users who own fewer than 10 original Chartbuster Karaoke® CD+G discs and no other Chartbuster Karaoke® media
Users who own SD cards, Super CDGs, or original hard drives are not eligible for this promotion
|For any Karaoke System with an unexpired Chartbuster Certification document, uploaded at the time of application
|For any Karaoke System with an expired Chartbuster Certification document, uploaded at the time of application
per Karaoke System
|For any Karaoke System not meeting the reduced-fee qualifications above
per Karaoke System
I have 5 systems. How much will my registration cost?
The cost will depend on whether any of your systems qualify for a fee reduction. For example, if you have two expired Chartbuster Certifications, you can qualify for two systems at $25 each, and three systems at $50 each, for a total of $200. Each system stands on its own.
Why do you offer free registration if I have 9 or fewer Chartbuster CD+G discs and no other Chartbuster media?
Most karaoke operators will be required to pay the $50 registration fee. However, we believe that some operators have a very limited number of Chartbuster Karaoke CD+G discs, mostly because they purchased a disc to get 1-2 songs that are popular but not available otherwise, or where the Chartbuster version is much better than anything else that's available. We want those operators to register, but the $50 fee seems sort of unfair to register discs that cost $18-25 in the first place.
Why draw the line at 9 discs?
We have to draw the line somewhere. Once you get to 10 discs, you're a more significant user.
Why charge at all?
There is a very significant administrative cost associated with obtaining and verifying the information we need to meet our legal obligations to issue the Covenant Not to Sue that comes with this program. The registration fee helps us defray that expense.
Tell me about this disc photo you need. Do you need a photo for each disc?
The disc photo should show all of the Chartbuster Karaoke media associated with a specific system. We don't need individual disc images. It's up to you how to arrange the discs in the photo. What we are looking for is some indication that the discs you claim to have numerically match what's in the photo. Our plan is to trust you to get it right. If you need 3 or 4 or 10 photos to show what we're looking for, that's fine, but we figure that almost everyone can get it in one or two photos.
Do you need a list of the Chartbuster songs I have on my hard drive?
No. It's sufficient to identify the discs and other media you have, either by catalog number or the title.
What is a Chartbuster Certification document?
When the original owner of the Chartbuster Karaoke trademarks established its media-shifting policy, it issued certificates to certified operators as evidence of the certification. These certification documents usually had expiration dates (and all of those, we believe, are now expired), but some permanent certification documents were issued. To qualify for free or reduced-price registration based on having one of these certificates, you will need to upload a legible copy of your certification document in an acceptable file format. If you have access to a scanner, that's the best way to convert a physical certificate to a digital copy (we recommend setting the resolution to 300dpi minimum). But if you don't, most digital cameras (and many smartphone cameras) will produce an image that is sufficiently high-resolution to make a legible image, and that's fine to use, also. If what you can produce is borderline, upload it anyway, and we'll let you know if we need more.
What image formats do you accept?
Our system will accept PDF, JPG, PNG, BMP, and GIF images for all uploaded images and documents. Any other image format (or other document format) will be rejected by our system.
How often do I have to pay the registration fee?
Registration is permanent, not annual. The only ways you'll owe more fees in the future are (a) if you add more systems, or (b) if you add material to an existing system that causes it to be disqualified for reduced pricing (for example, if you registered an "Under 10 discs" system, then added discs that make the system have more than 9 discs).
After I register, do I need to do anything?
If you make changes to your system, such as
- Adding media to your system
- Removing media from your system
- Moving your system to a new hard drive
- Selling your system to someone else
you will need to log on to our system and make the changes to keep your record current.
What do I get for registering?
We're glad you asked. Most importantly, registration gets you a Covenant Not to Sue—our promise not to sue you for trademark or trade dress infringement based on your use of media-shifted copies of Chartbuster Karaoke® tracks. But registration also gets you a listing in our online Licensee and Authorized Provider Directory. We are considering other benefits to offer our Chartbuster Registrants. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that you're doing your part to help us fight the piracy that hurts everybody in this industry.
Do I have to sign a contract?
Technically, this program is a contract because it involves promises on both sides. But for you, getting registered doesn't mean giving us anything other than the required fee, if any, and supplying us with the information needed to identify you when our investigators visit your area. You're not consenting to be sued in a particular place, nor are you admitting anything that could be used against you if things go wrong somehow. This program is strictly about exchanging information about what you have for our permission to use media-shifted copies commercially.
What happens if I don't register?
If you are commercially using media-shifted copies of Chartbuster Karaoke media, and you don't register, you run the risk of being sued for trademark infringement if our investigators determine that you are infringing. We cannot guarantee that you will be released from such a suit without a payment if you had the opportunity to register and refused to do so, even if you have 1:1 correspondence.
I'm in Canada (or another country other than the U.S.). Can I register?
Yes, registration is open to anyone.
Does the Sound Choice® HELP℠ License apply to Chartbuster Karaoke® tracks?
No. The HELP license only applies to red-logo Sound Choice tracks.
Can I buy a HELP-style license for Chartbuster Karaoke® tracks?
No. We will not be offering that type of program.
I'm using CAVS co-branded Chartbuster Super CDGs with a CAVS Super CD+G player. What system type do I choose?
At one point, Chartbuster and CAVS USA Inc. put out co-branded Super CDGs (that is, the Super CDG discs had both the CAVS logo and the Chartbuster logo on the front). These discs were specifically designed to be used in CAVS Super CD+G players, and they had a notice on the front restricting them to that use.
Some CAVS Super CD+G players (Model JB-99, for example) had CD trays and no internal storage. Other models did not have a built-in CD tray; those models instead had internal storage, and the tracks could be copied to storage using computer equipment or an external CD player.
Obviously, this is a bit of a complicated situation, and we're trying to keep this program simple, so here are the rules for this specific case:
1. If you're using a CAVS Super CD+G player (such as a Model JB-99 or any flavor of the Model JB-199, of which there are several), and your only Chartbuster tracks are from Super CDGs, choose Original Media Only as your system type. Your registration will be free.
2. If you are using a CAVS Super CD+G player and you have Chartbuster tracks stored on that system from any other media source (such as CD+G discs, SD cards, or the like), choose Internal HD as your media type. Your registration will be the regular price.
3. If you are using media-shifted Chartbuster tracks from Super CDGs, but you are not using a CAVS player, you should choose the system type determined by your computer system.
If you have any questions, please contact Customer Care before proceeding. We are happy to help and will make sure you get registered under the appropriate category.
Is registration automatic, or can you turn down the registration?
We reserve the right to deny registration to any applicant for any reason we deem appropriate. Generally, we try to approve every valid, complete registration application, but there may be certain circumstances when we may find it necessary to turn down a registration.
Please be advised that we are likely to turn down an application from any person or company who is a defendant in a current suit in which we are the plaintiff, or who owes us money on an existing licensing contract, settlement agreement, or judgment.