Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against a small bar from Amityville, New York, for playing one of their songs without permission. The track in question is not a recent pop song, but the 80-year old love song “I Only Have Eyes for You” which first appeared in Warner’s 1934 movie “Dames.”
Many bars, pubs and restaurants like to entertain their guests with live music, with bands often playing covers of recent hits or golden oldies.
As with all music that’s performed in public, the bar owners are required to pay the royalties, even if there are just handful of listeners present.
Royalty collection agencies take this obligation very seriously and drive around the country visiting local bars and pubs to check whether they obey the law. Those who don’t usually get a bill in the mailbox, and if they refuse to pay up it gets worse.
Every year hundreds of small establishments are sued by copyright holders, often with help from performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI. This week, Giacomo Jacks, a restaurant/bar from Amityville, New York, became a target.
The bar is being sued by Warner Bros. and Pure Songs for playing two songs without permission back in February. As they failed to secure the rights, Giacomo Jacks now faces a maximum of $60,000 in damages.
While these lawsuits are fairly common, the song over which Warner Bros is suing stands out immediately, as it’s more than 80 years old.
In the lawsuit Warner Bros. claims to have been severely harmed by the public performance in the Amityville bar, for which it demands proper compensation. Since the actual damage can’t be calculated they ask for up to $30,000 per infringement.
“The said wrongful acts of the Defendants have caused and are causing great injury to the Plaintiffs, which damage cannot be accurately computed, and unless this Court restrains the Defendants from the further commission of said acts, said Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury,” the complaint (pdf) reads.
While Warner Bros. appear to be on sound legal ground (the song’s copyright only expires after 95 years) suing a small local business over a 80-year old song is not the best PR. That said, considering previous cases that dealt with the same issue, Giacomo Jacks will most likely lose the case or end up paying a hefty settlement fee.
Meanwhile, various unauthorized copies of the track are played hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube and elsewhere.
PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS.
This Thursday, Scotland votes for its independence.
The BBC is trying to report that Yes to Independence is losing. They’re using photos to imply our gatherings are tiny and insignificant instead of the many photos like those above. They’re reporting that an anti-independence march by the Orange Order (think the KKK with more British flags) was a peaceful pro-union family march. They have been caught editing clips to discredit our First Minister.
There is a protest outside BBC headquarters right now. They are claiming there are a maximum of 350 protesters.
Watch for yourself. There are far more people outside their offices right now and they are being ignored and misreported.
We need to be seen. The only way we’ve been able to disseminate accurate information has been through social media. The media we rely on to spread unbiased information is lying to us, trying to suppress us.
PLEASE SHARE. PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS. WE NEED OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD.
>BBC uses misleading information
What’s new for public broadcastings?
Duke: “Exactly. I mean, Bush is totally… Bush is not a very smart man, and he is totally under the thumb of the Jewish supremacists. The president of Canada said it very well. He said that Bush is like a puppet. He knows what he has to say to get the support of the media, and political support. I think right now, they dangled him, they created… The Zionists created the lies of this war. In fact, Steven Cohen was the CIA person who manufactured the evidence… Even Israel’s CIA, even Israel’s Mossad actually put forward evidence to the United States about weapons of mass destruction. Israel itself basically [knows] that they lied, they know Bush knows that he lied, so now they say to Bush: OK, either you continue on with this program, with securing the realm, with this war, either you continue on with this or we will have you impeached.”
This poor man was murdered shortly after