President of Restaurant and Lounge Is Found Personally Liable For Unlicensed Public Music Performance

By Evelyn Li The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a California district court’s granting of a summary judgment in favor of plaintiff-appellees for a total of $203,728.22. The judgment included a statutory infringement damage of $4,500 for each of the 8 infringements ($36,000), and attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $167,728.22. Plaintiff-appellees, Range Road Music, Inc. together with Sony/ATV harmony, Williamson Music Company and several other music companies (“Music Companies”) sued East Coast Foods, Inc.(“East Coast”) and its president Herbert Hudson for copyright infringement after collecting evidence through an independent investigator, Scott Greene, on unlicensed public performances of music owned by the Music Companies. Scott Greene was retained by American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) to visit the restaurant “Long Beach Roscoe’s” owned by East Coast to investigate whether copyright infringement was likely occurring at the venue. Greene’s report identified eight songs, which were later confirmed by ASCAP as owned by

read more President of Restaurant and Lounge Is Found Personally Liable For Unlicensed Public Music Performance

President of Restaurant and Lounge Is Found Personally Liable For Unlicensed Public Music Performance

By Evelyn Li The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a California district court’s granting of a summary judgment in favor of plaintiff-appellees for a total of $203,728.22. The judgment included a statutory infringement damage of $4,500 for each of the eight infringements ($36,000), and attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $167,728.22. Plaintiff-appellees, Range Road Music, Inc. together with Sony/ATV harmony, Williamson Music Company and several other music companies (“Music Companies”) sued East Coast Foods, Inc.(“East Coast”) and its sole officer and director Herbert Hudson for copyright infringement after a collection of evidence through an independent investigator, Scott Greene, on unlicensed public performance of music owned by the Music Companies. Scott Greene was retained by American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) to visit the restaurant “Long Beach Roscoe’s” owned by East Coast to investigate whether copyright infringement was likely occurring at the venue. Greene’s report identified eight songs, which were later confirmed

read more President of Restaurant and Lounge Is Found Personally Liable For Unlicensed Public Music Performance

Limitations Period

Claim for copyright infringement accrues, for statute of limitations purposes, at time of infringement, rather than a time plaintiff knows or has reason to know of injury upon which claim is based, since legislative history of 17 U.S.C. § 507(b) makes clear that Congress intended to adopt uniform limitations period running from date of infringement, not from date of discovery.  (Auscape International v. National Geographic Society, 71 USPQ2d 1874, DC SNY 8/12/04).