Bruce Springsteen, one of the most iconic American musicians (and categorically patriotic songwriters) doesn’t want America singing his songs for karaoke. Yet while Springsteen refuses to let American fans sing his songs, he licenses them freely abroad.
“Springsteen stands in front of the American flag on his album cover, and sings about making a home in ‘America Land,’ and yet refuses to license his music to allow fans to sing karaoke versions of his songs here in America,” Karaoke Cloud CEO Joseph Vangieri remarked regarding the apparent contradiction between Springsteen’s patriotism and American karaoke ban.
The drafters of the United States Constitution based the foundation of intellectual property upon a “utilitarian” philosophy. In order to encourage the progress of arts and sciences, creators were allowed to secure sole right to their work for a limited time. After that time, the work would become free to be used by all and fall into the public domain. This philosophy led the United States to be the largest distributor of intellectual property worldwide.
The intellectual property laws of European and Asian countries are based on a “moral rights” system. This gives the artist sole and exclusive right to their creation from fixation into a tangible form, until the end of time.
In moral rights countries, the rights of the artist are far above the interest in the betterment of society. Yet, in these countries there is a statutory rate for sync licenses – including karaoke.
While this was true in the United States for many years, a series of court decisions changed the laws in America, suddenly making it the most difficult country to license for karaoke.
Major American and categorically patriotic acts are thumbing their nose at the very root of American arts, and withholding a simple license that allows fans across the country to participate in their music in the form of karaoke.
If you can’t sing Bruce Springsteen and enjoy a domestic beer at a karaoke bar, there is something entirely missing from the karaoke experience.