Friday, June 25, 2010

ASCAP Files 21 Copyright Suits Against Bars and Clubs; New York Times, 6/21/10

Joseph Plambeck, New York Times; ASCAP Files 21 Copyright Suits Against Bars and Clubs:

"The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers said on Monday that it had filed copyright suits against 21 bars, nightclubs and restaurants across the country, including Doug’s Burger Bar in Imperial, Mo., and The Vibe in Riverside, Calif.

The performing rights group, which represents more than 380,000 songwriters and publishers, said in a statement that each of the businesses did not have the required license to allow performers to play copyrighted songs or have failed to make the payments required by the license.

Any venue that hosts musicians who perform any of the 8.5 million copyrighted songs overseen by the performing rights group, which collects royalties for song writers, is supposed to pay an annual licensing fee.

“Having music in an establishment is an enhancement that draws many patrons to these venues. A music license is a basic cost of business recognized in hundreds of thousands of bars, restaurants and other venues across the U.S.,” Vincent Candilora, the group’s senior vice president of licensing, said in a statement. “The 21 cases filed today aim to heighten awareness among music users and the public that it is a federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission.”"

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