“…any establishment that plays music is required to pay a licensing fee which, for bars and restaurants, is based on the square footage of the establishment…the owners agreed to settle the case to avoid the expense and uncertainly of continuing the litigation. The settlement equates to a penalty of $750 per song. Federal law allows for penalties up to $30,000 per song…”
The owners of the Brews Brothers bar and restaurant in Jenkins Township have agreed to pay $9,000 to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a music publishing company. Broadcast Music Inc. filed suit against the bar in October 2012 after a representative from the company visited the establishment that March and witnessed a disc jockey playing 12 songs from artists who are part of BMI’s catalogue.
BMI, one of the nation’s largest music publishing companies, collects and distributes royalties to artists whose music is played on radio, television and at public venues.
BMI has been aggressively enforcing its copyrights in the region over the past several years, filing at least 11 federal lawsuits against various establishments in Luzerne, Lackawanna and other nearby counties since 2010, according to court records.
The settlement, filed Thursday, says Brews Brothers acknowledges it violated the copyrights for the songs.