January 24, 2005

ASCAP LAUNCHES INFRINGEMENT ACTIONS AGAINST ESTABLISHMENTS PERFORMING COPYRIGHTED MUSIC WITHOUT PERMISSION

Today, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers filed 24 separate copyright infringement actions against nightclubs, bars, and restaurants in 15 states and the District of Columbia.  These establishments (listed below) have publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP’s songwriter, composer and music publisher members without receiving their permission to do so, resulting in lost income.

"Informing business owners of their obligations under Federal Copyright Law is one of ASCAP's key roles," said Vincent Candilora, Senior Vice President of Licensing at ASCAP.  "We provide any business using music the opportunity to receive permission through acceptance of a license covering the use of over 8 million copyrighted songs and compositions, and we make every effort to educate business owners concerning their music licensing responsibilities.  If our good efforts are ignored, then our only recourse is legal action."

During 2004, ASCAP achieved a 100% success rate with its copyright infringement litigation, with all concluded cases resulting in either a cash settlement or a judgment in favor of ASCAP members.  This is significant as ASCAP represents over 200,000 member owners who, for the most part, are songwriters and composers who rely heavily on their ASCAP royalties, as well as ASCAP's enforcement efforts on their behalf.  Over 86 cents of every dollar collected is distributed to its members, the music creators. 

According to Vince Abbatiello, ASCAP Vice President of Sales and Director of General Licensing, “When business owners ignore their obligations and violate Federal Copyright Law, they are actually stealing from the songwriters and composers who created the music compositions that those businesses are using.  Individual songwriters and composers are the ultimate small business people, working on their own with limited opportunity for sustained success.  We only take legal action when all other means of resolution have been exhausted.  But when we litigate on behalf of our members, our success rate is always very high.  Business owners who ignore the Copyright Law in the belief that they can escape penalty should treat this very seriously. Don't steal our members’ music.”

Establishment, City and State:

Challengers, Pelham, AL
Back Porch, Tuscalossa, AL
Hard Dock Café, Decatur, AL
Saddlerack, Chandler, AZ
Josh Slocum's, Newport Beach, CA
Joe's Café, Branford, CT
Home Nightclub, Washington, DC
Jade, Miami Beach, FL
Estate (f/k/a Nocturnal), Chicago, IL
Hundred South Grille a/k/a 100 South Chop House, Elmhurst, IL 
Le Passage/Yow Bar, Chicago, IL
Costello's, Jamaica Plain, MA
Buffalo Billiards, Gaithersburg, MD
American Sports Café, St. Paul, MN
Buffalo Tap & Grille, Savage, MN
Soulard Ale House, St. Louis, MO
Gilligan's, Surf City, NC
J. Lindsay's, Columbus, OH
Denim, Philadelphia, PA
R.P. McMurphy's, Holmes, PA
Wolfy's, Nashville, TN
Happy Town Karaoke, Houston, TX
OUI Club, Wichita Falls, TX
Scuttlebutts Restaurant and Bar, Lubbock, TX