SCRANTON – Music licensing giant Broadcast Music Inc. and 21 copyright companies filed suit against Brews Brothers Inc. and its owners for the alleged unauthorized use of 11 songs in March.
The copyright infringement suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Scranton, sought unspecified damages, court costs, attorney's fees and asked that the bar and owners Michael and Andrew Partash be restrained from further infringing on the copyrights.
A message left at the bar Wednesday afternoon was not returned.
In a prepared statement, New York City-based BMI said it works with business owners using music by songwriters and music publishers represented by the company with the aim to broaden awareness of copyright, licensing and compensation rights. Businesses and organizations must receive permission from the owners of the copyrighted music before playing it publicly. BMI represents more than 500,000 copyright owners and their more than 7.5 million musical compositions.
"BMI only takes legal action as a last resort, following notifications and considerable periods of time, when a business refuses to purchase a license for the music being used," the company said.
According to the suit, the songs were performed publicly at the bar on March 30 and included: "Family Tradition" by Hank Williams Jr. and published by Bocephus Music Inc.; "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," by Jim Collins and Paul Overstreet, published by EMI Blackwood Music Inc., Scarlet Moon Music Inc. and Jelinda Music; and "Get Drunk and Be Somebody," by Walter Scott Emerick and Toby Keith Covel, published by Florida Room Music and Tokeco Tunes.
The suit did not state whether the music was performed live or recorded versions of the songs were played.