U.S. News| ASCAP Sues Jukebox Nightclub for Copyright Infringement

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The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), one of the world’s leading music copyright organizations has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Jukebox Nightclub as well as the owner, John Katras for multiple copyright violations.

The plaintiff alleges that Jukebox Nightclub is one of the fifteen bars and restaurants nationwide singled out for repeated violations of musical copyright.

According to the lawsuit, the Jukebox entered into a licensing agreement in May 2009 and had continued to pay the licensing fee until April 2018.

The plaintiff reportedly said efforts to contact the defendant and reinstate the licensing agreement since they stopped had proved abortive.

The plaintiff reportedly listed three songs which were infringed on including Jump Around, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae.

The plaintiff reportedly said that the songs were performed on December 31, 2019, and January 1, 2020, without a license.

Jackson Wagener, Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at ASCAP reportedly said that after over a year of not hearing from businesses that infringe works, ASCAP will usually hire an independent investigator to visit the business and report the songs that were played on a given night.

“We want every business that uses music to prosper, including bars and restaurants,” ASCAP chairman and president Paul Williams said in the press release. “After all, as songwriters and composers, we are small business owners, too, and music is more than an art form for us. It’s how we put food on the table and send our kids to school”, Jackson Wagener reportedly said.

ASCAP seeks payment of monetary damages for copyright violations per work infringed.

The case is pending.

Here is the full list of offending businesses:

  • American Dream/Hangout (Omaha, Nebraska)
  • Breakaway (Danvers, Massachusetts)
  • The British Bulldog Pub (Columbia, South Carolina)
  • Cowboy Jack’s (Woodbury, Minnesota)
  • Dr. Feelgood’s Pub (Beaverton, Oregon)
  • Gabe’s Iowa City (Iowa City, Iowa)
  • Hoptinger (Jacksonville Beach, Florida)
  • Izzy’s BBQ Lounge and Grill (Superior, Wisconsin)
  • Jimmy B’s Sports Bar & Grill (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Jukebox Nightclub (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
  • Limerick’s Tavern (Chino Hills, California)
  • Main Street Music (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)
  • Paradise Grill (Long Neck, Delaware)
  • Show Palace Gentlemen’s Club (Darien, Wisconsin)  
  • Tequilas Night Club (Abilene, Texas)
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 754 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com