ASCAP Initiates Infringement Actions Against Venues for Performing Copyrighted Music Without Permission
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June 25, 2012

ASCAP Initiates Multiple Infringement Actions Against Nightclubs, Bars & Restaurants to Heighten Awareness About Performing Copyrighted Music Without Permission

New York, NY, June 25, 2012: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced today that it has filed multiple infringement actions against nightclubs, bars and restaurants in several states across the nation.

In each of the cases filed today, the business or establishment has publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP’s songwriter, composer and music publisher members without obtaining a license from ASCAP to do so. These establishments then refused to acquire a license and continued to perform ASCAP members' music without permission, resulting in the filing of the infringement actions.

ASCAP manages the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. Those licensed by ASCAP include any establishment or business that wants to perform copyrighted music publicly.

“Music plays a crucial role in attracting customers to restaurants, bars and various other establishments. Our membership of songwriters and composers are, in essence, small business people, who must invest in the tools of the trade that allow them to create music the world loves. They deserve to be fairly compensated when others benefit from the fruits of their labor and talent," said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing. "It is both ASCAP’s right and responsibility to collect licensing fees from these venues in order to protect the livelihoods of our members."

Any business using copyrighted music has the opportunity to obtain permission to do so lawfully, through acceptance of a license covering the use of the more than 8.5 million copyrighted songs and compositions in the ASCAP repertory. Nearly 90% of the license fees ASCAP collects are paid as royalties directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers. The balance covers ASCAP’s operating costs, which are among the lowest of any performance rights organization in the world.

“ASCAP only takes legal action as a last resort - after several attempts to provide the necessary permission have failed,” added Candilora. “Like a liquor license, establishments require a license to play copyrighted music. This is a basic cost of business recognized in hundreds of thousands of venues across the country. By filing these cases today, we hope to raise awareness among music users and the public that it is a Federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission.”

Frequently Asked Questions about licensing can be found on ASCAP's website at www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html.

The establishments that have performed publicly the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer and music publisher members without receiving their permission to do so, resulting in lost income for these music creators, include:

Establishment, City, State

Anthony’s Lounge & Ristorante, Murrieta, CA
Romeo Cucina, Laguna Beach, CA
Smuggler’s Bay Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Younger’s Irish Tavern, Romeo, MI
Coyote’s, Hillsboro, OR
Bud’s Sports Bar, Chattanooga, TN
Ixonia Pub, Ixonia, WI

 

About ASCAP
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world’s largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 435,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. For more information, please visit www.ascap.com.

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Press Contacts
Tim Hayes
ASCAP
(212) 621-8414
thayes@ascap.com

Bobbi Marcus
Bobbi Marcus PR & Events, Inc.
(310) 889-9200
bobbi.marcus@bobbimarcuspr.com