Music Company Representing Jimmy Buffett, Van Morrison Sues Denham Springs Restaurant

Jimmy Buffett, Van Morrison and Bret Michaels artists are presented in a lawsuit filed against a Mexican restaurant in Denham Springs.

Broadcast Music Inc. earlier this month demanded of Papi Fajita Factory in South Range Avenue for copyright infringement. In a civil lawsuit filed in US District Court in Baton Rouge on December 8, BMI and different music rights holders author accused the restaurant playing songs like “Margaritaville”, “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn “without obtaining licenses.

BMI represents songwriters, composers and music publishers and licenses the public performance rights to his works copyrighted. The organization believes that the 10 songs listed in the lawsuit were played in live performances and during karaoke, spokeswoman Leah Lupo wrote in an email.

Even if a band playing cover songs copyrighted, falls to the site to make sure the business is licensed, according to the website of IMC.

“This responsibility cannot be passed on to anyone else, even if the hired musicians are independent contractors,” the site says.

The license fees are calculated using a number of factors, including the maximum capacity of the room, if the site charges a cover and if the music is played by a band, DJ, karaoke machine or jukebox. A place that has bands on Friday and Saturday nights, hosts weekly karaoke and play recorded music at other times would be required to pay an annual flat fee based on occupancy limits, equivalent to $ 10.90 per occupant or $ 12.70 if customers are allowed to dance.

IMC generated $ 977 million in revenue in fiscal 2014, of which $ 840 million went to songwriters, composers and music publishers, according to a press release from September.

Lupo said Papi IMC contacted in April 2011 to provide a license to play songs in the catalog of the organization approximately 8.5 million musical works. IMC representatives visited the restaurant in July of that year and a total of 57 letters were sent. Also made 79 calls, but only one was returned, Lupo said.

“We have made many attempts to reach them and educate them on the value of the IMC license and its legal obligations under the Copyright Act,” Lupo wrote.

Starting Wednesday, BMI was listed as plaintiff in 130 lawsuits in 2014, according to federal court documents available online. But the cases in Louisiana were rare, as the lawsuit against Papi is only the second part of the year in the state.

In August, US District Judge Susie Morgan, the Court Eastern District of Louisiana, ruled in favor of copyright owners BMI and filed a lawsuit against a salon in Thibodaux. The place, Diamond Horseshoe, was ordered to pay $ 3,000 for each of seven counts of copyright infringement.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Papi are asking the court to ban the restaurant infringing music licensed by BMI and pay statutory damages unspecified, plus court costs and attorney fees.

“When was the last time you walked into a quiet bar or silent? … Music is a part of that experience,” Lupo said.

“We are advocating for business owners, well, it’s just a different kind of business owners, and some of the little ones,” he said of the copyright holders.

When I reached for comment by phone Wednesday afternoon, a woman in Papi said the restaurant would not discuss the case with the advice of an attorney.


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