December 6, 2008

No copyright fees for China funeral dirge

A Chinese music copyright holder says it's not true his group will ask funeral parlors for royalties when they play classic dirges at services.

Liu Ping, legal department director for the Music Copyright Society of China, told the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua that reports his group will demand royalties from undertakers who play the traditional Aiyue dirge at funerals are inaccurate.

The Beijing News reported Saturday that the MCSC would use Nanjing as a test market for the alleged plan, but Liu denied that. He told Xinhua, Playing classical music is OK. But we found that most of the hotels and restaurants are playing songs by popular singers.

The MCSC made news this week when, after it demanded that 200 hotels in Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan province, pay royalties for their background music, the hotels dropped the tunes, the news agency said.