A consortium of 49 music companies, 34 of them foreign, commenced taking legal action against 8,000-10,000 karaoke bars alleged to be using the companiesï¿½ music without permission. The companies, which include Sony, Time Warner, Universal and EMI, sent letters via two Beijing-based law firms demanding that the karaoke bars cease infringing upon their copyrights. The letters also ordered the bars to pay damages in the form of back royalties. Music companies have become increasingly aggressive and successful in suing karaoke bars in China. The mailing, which may be followed by additional mailings, focused on karaoke bars in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.