Little Tigers’ songs in KTV parlors after dispute settled

COPYRIGHT::A 25-year dispute over intellectual property rights had kept the popular boy band’s songs from being played at KTV parlors nationwide

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

Wed, Aug 27, 2014 - Page 3

Songs by the popular 1990s Taiwanese boy band The Little Tigers (小虎隊) have finally made their way into the nation’s two major KTV chains — Holiday and Cashbox — after a 25-year dispute over intellectual property rights was settled, media reports said.

The group — composed of Nicky Wu (吳奇隆), Julian Chen (陳志朋) and Alec Su (蘇有朋) — was founded in 1988 and greatly influenced Chinese pop music. The group disbanded in the mid-1990s, and the three men have since turned to acting.

The Chinese-language China Times, quoting the KTV chain operators, said that the decades-old dispute stemmed from a lack of clear rules about intellectual property rights protection as well as the mergers and closures of several record companies at the time.

As copyright protection became commonplace, KTV shops started dropping illegal copies of popular songs — including those by The Little Tigers — leading to the steady disappearance of many popular hits at karaoke places, the operators said, adding that they often received complaints about the missing songs.

Asked why it took so long to resolve the dispute over The Little Tigers’ songs, the KTV operators said that UFO Ltd owned the original rights to the group’s songs, but the company was bought out by Warner Music Group.

It was not until recently that the original members of UFO Ltd — who founded Skyhigh Entertainment in 1999 — bought back the rights to the songs, and the records were reproduced and released, the KTV operators said.

The KTV operators said they now have all of the group’s hit songs in their collection except one.

In related news, the theme song for the film C’est La Vie, Ma Cherie (新不了情) has consistently been a KTV favorite for more than two decades, a China Times report said.

The film was released in Hong Kong in 1993. The song was originally sung by Taiwanese singer Wan Fang (萬芳) and currently ranks 172nd in KTV outlets. A more recent version by Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰) is also quite popular, ranking 52nd, KTV operators said.

The song is so popular that on average, one out of five groups of customers at KTV parlors would order the song, they said.