SCRANTON - The owners of the Brews Brothers bar and restaurant in Jenkins Township have agreed to pay $9,000 to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a music publishing company.
Broadcast Music Inc. filed suit against the bar in October 2012 after a representative from the company visited the establishment that March and witnessed a disc jockey playing 12 songs from the BMI repertoire.
BMI, a performing rights organization, collects and distributes royalties to songwriters whose music is played publicly. Any establishment that plays music publicly, live or recorded, is required to obtain a license.
BMI has been aggressively enforcing its copyrights in the region over the past several years, filing at least 11 federal laagainst various establishments in Luzerne, Lackawanna and other nearby counties since 2010, according to court records.
The settlement, filed Thursday, says Brews Brothers acknowledges it violated the copyrights for the songs.
Joseph Saporito, an attorney for Brews Brothers, said the owners agreed to settle the case to avoid the expense and uncertainly of continuing the litigation. The settlement equates to a penalty of $750 per song. Federal law allows for penalties up to $30,000 per song.
“It was a business decision made by my clients taking into account the cost of the litigation as well as the risk of the litigation,” Saporito said.