Dublin Square facing lawsuit for playing ‘That Funky Music’ – The State News

East Lansing bar Dublin Square may have just lost its funk and over $30,000 after a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against the bar on Tuesday. 

Copyright licensing association American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, accused the bar of playing songs “Play that Funky Music,” “Trap Queen” and “Funky Cold Medina” without a proper license. The association represents over 900,000 copyrighted music creators by paying them royalties. 

The sweeping lawsuit was filed against 12 restaurants and bars across the nation. 

“We see litigation as a very last resort in these circumstances,” ASCAP senior vice president of business and legal affairs Jackson Wagener said. “We reached out to the owners of the establishments numerous times over the course of at least a year.”

Dublin Square owner Paul Vlahakis said he received no such notification.

“They blew this up to a bigger deal than it is,” Vlahakis said. “All they need to do is reach out to us and it can be straightened out.”

Wagener said that when ASCAP reaches out to establishments, the association explains to the venues that a license with ASCAP allows the bar to play music without overstepping copyright laws and allows songwriters to get paid. 

“A license from ASCAP allows establishment owners to play any of the 18 million plus works that we have in our repertoire at an affordable cost, and it ensures that fair compensation is paid to the songwriters,” Wagener said.

According to the lawsuit filing, the bar joined an ASCAP licensing agreement in 2008, but lost their license in 2019 when they failed to make an annual payment. This June, the bar played the three songs by artists that are represented by ASCAP.

The bar generally contracts DJs to provide music at the venue and it’s their responsibility to attain proper licenses, Vlahakis said.

“Our DJs also are responsible for the music they play,” Vlahakis said. “We play very little music over our own sound system.”

The organization expects Dublin to cover the licensing fee from the time they were operating without a license in addition to litigation fees, Wagener said.

“When we file these lawsuits, our actual goal is not to be punitive,” Wagener said. “It’s to try and reach an amicable settlement with the venue owners.”

Wagener said that Vlahakis has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Marc Valldeperez

Soy el administrador de marcahora.xyz y también un redactor deportivo. Apasionado por el deporte y su historia. Fanático de todas las disciplinas, especialmente el fútbol, el boxeo y las MMA. Encargado de escribir previas de muchos deportes, como boxeo, fútbol, NBA, deportes de motor y otros.

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