New York City-based Broadcast Music Inc. and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers filed a lawsuit against Worcester’s Ralph’s Rock Diner alleging copyright infringement.
The plaintiffs allege that the bar allows live performances and karaoke of copyrighted music without receiving appropriate licenses and approval.
Broadcast Music Inc. has the rights to license the public performance of nearly 14 million copyrighted songs and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers protects the rights of over 670,000 songs.
According to the lawsuits, the owner of Worcester’s Ralph’s Rock Diner, Vincent Hemmeter has been contacted severally on the alleged infringement since 2015.
In separate suits, the plaintiffs pointed out the copyrighted materials and songs. BMI copyrighted materials are by Shel Silverstein, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; John C. Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival; Paul Simon,;Les Emerson of the Five Man Electrical Band; Jim Steinman, June Carter, wife of Johnny Cash; The Flaming Lips, Amy Winehouse; Cage the Elephant; and the Pixies. While ASCAP copyrighted songs by Tommy Shaw of Renegade, Buck Ram, Panic! At the Disco and Notorious BIG were allowed live performance and karaoke without authorization.
ASCAP is seeking a penalty of between $750 and $30,000 in each case, while BMI did not specify a figure.