June 21, 2010 10:00 ET

ASCAP Initiates 21 Infringement Actions Against Nightclubs, Bars and Restaurants to Heighten Awareness About Performing Copyrighted Music Without Permission

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) -  ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) today announced that it has filed 21 separate infringement actions against nightclubs, bars and restaurants in 13 states.

In each of the cases filed today, the business or establishment has either publicly performed the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer and music publisher members without obtaining a license from ASCAP to do so, or had signed a license agreement with ASCAP but failed to comply with the license's payment terms. In every instance, the establishment refused to obtain a license or pay the fees owed under the license, but continued to perform ASCAP members' music without permission, resulting in the filing of the infringement actions.

ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. Those licensed by ASCAP include any establishment or business that wants to perform copyrighted music publicly.

"ASCAP is passionate about music, and we only use legal action as a last resort -- after many attempts at an amicable resolution have failed," said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP Senior Vice President of Licensing. "Just as a bar needs a liquor license, they also need a license to play copyrighted music. Having music in an establishment is an enhancement that draws many patrons to these venues. A music license is a basic cost of business recognized in hundreds of thousands of bars, restaurants and other venues across the U.S."

Any business using copyrighted music has the opportunity to obtain permission to do so lawfully, through acceptance of a license covering the use of the more than 8.5 million copyrighted songs and compositions in the ASCAP repertory. Nearly 90% of the license fees ASCAP collects are paid as royalties directly to songwriters, composers and music publishers. The balance covers ASCAP's operating costs, which are the lowest of any performing rights organization in the world.

"ASCAP not only has a right to collect license fees from the users of music, but it also has a responsibility to its songwriter and composer members, the smallest of small business people, to ensure they are adequately compensated for their hard work," added Candilora. "The 21 cases filed today aim to heighten awareness among music users and the public that it is a Federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission."

Frequently Asked Questions about licensing can be found on ASCAP's website at

The establishments listed below have performed publicly the copyrighted musical works of ASCAP's songwriter, composer and music publisher members without receiving their permission to do so, resulting in lost income for these music creators.

Establishment, City, State
Law's Lunch & Dinner, Riverside, CA
The Vibe, Riverside, CA
Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Tampa, FL
Empire Dine & Dance, Portland, ME
Doug's Burger Bar (f/k/a Twister's Iron Bar Saloon), Imperial, MO
Foxy Lady Club, Raleigh, NC
Vanishing Point Bar and Grill, Mt. Airy, NC
Ron's Landing, Hampton, NH
Bolero Resort & Conference Center, Wildwood, NJ
Bacchus, New Paltz, NY
Bamboo, East Hampton, NY
Barking Frog, Beacon, NY
The Eagle, New York, NY
Jessie's Roadhouse, Merrick, NY
Deuces 2, Columbus, OH
Cross Eyed Moose, Oklahoma City, OK
Isla Verde, Philadelphia, PA
Nephew's, San Marcos, TX
Sister's Edge II (f/k/a The Cockpit), Austin, TX
The Candy Bar, Richmond, VA
Secrets Restaurant Tavern, Virginia Beach, VA

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 380,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.