U.S. News | Songwriters Take the Meadowlark to Court for Copyright Infringement

Copyright and Intellectual Property Concept
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The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has filed a lawsuit against Meadowlark bar and nineteen other restaurants, bars and venues across the country for copyright infringement.

According to the lawsuit, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) reportedly said that it represents over 725,000 independent songwriters and composers with a goal of ensuring that these artists are paid for their work by venues that play their music through collection of licensing fees from bars, venues and other businesses.

The society alleges that the defendants play their music in their restaurants, bars and venues without authorization, license and license payment.

ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing Stephanie Ruyle reportedly said in a statement that “However, each of the establishments sued today has decided to use music without compensating songwriters. Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music.”

In reaction, ASCAP chairman of the board and president, songwriter Paul Williams reportedly said that “we want every business that uses music to prosper, including bars and restaurants. After all, as songwriters and composers, we are small business owners, too, and music is more than an art form for us”.

The plaintiff alleges the infringement has caused lots of damages by the defendants including  Amsterdam Bar and Hall (St. Paul, Minnesota), The Back Room (New York, New York), Blackstone Irish Pub (Southington, Conneticut), Blue Velvet Lounge (Madison, Wisconsin), Chapter One (Santa Ana, California), Cider Mill Lounge (Portland, Oregon), Club Arcada (St. Charles, Illinois), Columbia City Theater (Seattle, Washington), Dick’s Wings & Grill (North Jacksonville, Florida), Mansion Costa Mesa (Costa Mesa, California), Meadowlark Bar (Denver, Colorado), Nickel & Rye (Dallas, Texas), Origin Boutique Nightclub (San Francisco, California), P.O.E.T.S. Billiards (College Station, Texas), Rednecks (Omaha, Nebraska), The Republic House (Pasadena, Texas), Rialto Poolroom (Portland, Oregon), St. James Live (Atlanta, Georgia).

The case is still ongoing.

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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