ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 13 music venues for "unauthorized public performance of its members' copyrighted musical works."
The PRO represents 700,000 independent songwriters, composers and music publishers and "ensures its members can earn a living from their art by licensing the public performances of their songs, collecting those license fees, and distributing royalties to its members. Nearly 88% of the license fees ASCAP collects go directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers as royalties."
ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing, Stephanie Ruyle, said in a statement,
"When you see a patron at your business bobbing their head along to the music, you see firsthand the value music can add to any environment. Music plays a key role in creating an emotional connection with customers; hundreds of thousands of businesses understand that and accept that a music license is part of the cost of doing business. Our goal is to have businesses comply with the law so that our members can be compensated for use of their work. The establishments sued today have decided not to pay 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 venues are:
Bamboula's, New Orleans, LA
Carlos O'charlies, Baltimore, MD
Cask Social Kitchen, Tampa FL
Flamingo Resort, Saint Petersburg, FL
The Fur Shop, Tulsa, OK
HonkyTonk Saloon, Ladson, SC
Houndstooth Saloon, Chicago, IL
J & M Café, Seattle, WA
Lone Star Bar, Wichita Falls, TX
Nook Amphitheater, Austin, TX
Platforms Dance Club, Boca Raton, FL
Roccapulco, San Francisco, CA
surfer [The Bar], Jacksonville Beach, FL
More information about ASCAP's licensing of bars, restaurants and music venues can be found at: http://www.ascap.com/whywelicensevenues.