(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) filed 24 separate copyright infringement actions against nightclubs, bars, and restaurants in 11 states on February 27. These establishments 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 for these music creators.
"ASCAP is simultaneously filing these 24 actions to create awareness among music users and the public that it is a Federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission," said Vincent Candilora, senior vice president of Licensing at ASCAP. "Taking legal action is always ASCAP's last step in a long process of contacting, informing and educating business establishments of their obligations under the Federal Copyright Law. With many of these cases, ASCAP's licensing efforts have been ongoing for well over a year, so they have had plenty of time to do the right thing."
ASCAP provides 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.
In 2005, ASCAP launched copyright infringement actions against well over 100 establishments throughout the United States and the District of Columbia. Three-quarters of those cases have already been settled for the benefit of ASCAP members or are currently the subject of settlement negotiations.
"When business owners ignore their obligations and violate Federal Copyright Law," says Vince Abbatiello, ASCAP vice president of Sales and Director of General Licensing, "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. Many business establishments don't realize that ASCAP operates on a non-profit basis and that 86% of their license fee goes directly to ASCAP members. The balance covers ASCAP's operating cost, which is one of the lowest in the world for a performing rights organization, and the lowest by far in the U.S."
The establishments cited:
Bellagio Restaurant, Garden Grove, CA
Sky Bar, Sacramento, CA
Howard's Pit BBQ, Colorado Springs, CO
Water's Edge Inn & Resort, Westbrook, CT
Flow, West Palm Beach, FL
Braswell Country Palace, Rockmart, GA
Tango, Tybee Island, GA
The Bamboo Room, Schaumburg, IL
Spoon, Chicago, IL
Cheeta's of Lansing, Lansing, MI
Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery, High Point, NC
Five Spot, Brooklyn, NY
Light, New York, NY
Broadway Joe's, Buffalo, NY
Karma 355/Barfly, Rochester, NY
Spill, Austin, TX
Nasty's, Austin, TX
Uropa, Dallas, TX
Vision, Houston, TX
El Principe Azul Nite Club, Houston, TX
My House Lounge, San Antonio, TX
Galaxy Billiards, San Antonio, TX
Blakely's Restaurant and Dance Club, Chesapeake, VA
Paper Moon/Norfolk St., Richmond, VA
-Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen