A group of music publishing companies sued a bar in Danville, Illinois, in Illinois federal court on Friday, claiming the bar has repeatedly been asked to stop allowing public performances of copyrighted songs such as Don McLean’s classic "American Pie," but the bar has refused.
The publishing companies, including Broadcast Music Inc. and Against the Wind Publishing, sued Cafe Cabana and Shovelhead Saloon LLC, along with the bar’s owners Morris Dean Trosper II and Lia Marie Trosper. The companies claim the Trospers have not responded to more than 80 attempts to reach them by telephone and mail, warning them that they must obtain a license for the public performance of songs owned by the music publishing companies.
But despite multiple cease and desist notices, the publishing companies alleged Friday that the Trospers have continued to allow live performances of the copyrighted songs in in their bar, thus violating the publishing companies’ copyrights and depriving them of profits.
“The specific acts of copyright infringement alleged in the complaint, as well as defendants’ entire course of conduct, have caused and are causing plaintiffs great and incalculable damage,” the complaint alleged. “By continuing to provide unauthorized public performances of works in the BMI repertoire at the establishment, defendants threaten to continue committing copyright infringement. Unless this court restrains defendants from committing further acts of copyright infringement, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury for which they have no adequate remedy at law.”
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