ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pulling the Plug on Local Karaoke Nights

Oktava319_1 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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