| 21 Feb 2024
ASCAP takes legal action against nine venues for copyright infringement

MUMBAI: Nine venues in the United States have been slapped with legal notice by The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The separate venues consisting of bars and restaurants across the US, have allegedly used musical works without licensing rights for public performance of its members’ copyrighted musical works.

The society has taken action against Peri's Bar - Fairfax, California; Club 21 - Oakland, California; Gaslamp - Long Beach, California; Aqua - Minneapolis, Minnesota; Latitude 360 - Indianapolis, Indiana; Iron Bar - Morristown, New Jersey; Moondogs - Atlanta, Georgia; Twisted Tavern - Sugar Hill, Georgia; and Hilton Garden Inn - Staten Island, New York.

ASCAP also stated that in the past two years, the society has made numerous attempts at each establishment listed above to offer a license and educate business owners about their obligations under federal copyright law. However, the business owners decided to exploit the artistes without attaining the license.

“Music is enormously valuable to bars and restaurants, creating an emotional connection with patrons and providing the right ambience to attract and retain customers,” said ASCAP EVP of licensing Vincent Candilora.

Candilora added, “Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognise the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do. However, each of the establishments sued today have decided to use music without compensating songwriters. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music.”

The society claims that nearly 88 per cent of the license fees collected by ASCAP go directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers as royalties.

ASCAP is a membership association that represents more than 540,000 independent songwriters, composers and music publishers.

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