WOODBURY – Several restaurants across Long Island have been fined for playing live copyrighted music without a license.
Federal copyright law requires that anyone playing or performing copyrighted music in a commercial establishment must obtain a license to do so.
Nine establishments on Long Island were recently cited for violating the law, including Bobbique, a barbecue restaurant in Patchogue known for playing live music.
Owners of Bobbique say they face a $30,000 fine. They are hoping to settle the matter in a federal court.
They say that when they were getting licenses to open their venue, they were never told they needed to get a license for copyrighted music.
In statement from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the “ASCAP only files infringement actions as a last resort, only after multiple attempts to educate business owners about their legal responsibility to obtain a license have failed.”
The cost of obtaining a license to play copyrighted music is based on a formula used by the ASCAP and can cost $4,000 a year. The cost depends on the size of the venue and the music that is played.