July 26, 2006
Pulling the Plug on Local Karaoke Nights
Bull & Bear, a local pub in Syracuse, NY, has been slapped with a lawsuit because of its karaoke nights. The lawsuit doesn't allege noise complaints or grossly off-key renditions of Friends in Low Places. Rather, ASCAP lawyers sued the local pub in federal court for using unlicensed songs:
ASCAP lawyers filed the lawsuit after a private investigator hired by the organization attended a karaoke night at the bar and wrote down the names of songs the singers were performing. Any public performance of copyrighted songs requires the venue to have a license to use the tunes, the lawsuit said.
The licensing fees would have cost the pub about $3500 for the past five years. The lawsuit requests that the pub stop hosting karaoke nights and pay between $750 and $30,000 for each violation.
[Meredith R. Miller]
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