Boston Billiard Club & Casino is located in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Casino has been a recent addition to the facility as it opened last November. The new casino offers its visitors several entertainment options including 16 poker tables, Roulette, Blackjack and others. “Sophisticated, yet relaxed… impressive, but never intimidating, Boston Billiard Club & Casino is the ideal setting for Las Vegas-style gaming, first-class billiards, corporate and private parties, or simply a relaxing dinner and drink after work with friends,” – states the club’s website. In order to create the atmosphere of elegance and entertain up to 600 guests, the club also plays music in the building and invites Djs for specific events. It turns out that Boston Billiard Club & Casino didn’t have a permission to play some of the copyrighted music it used recently.
Seven musical publishing companies, all of which are members of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, have sued the club and its principal Kurt Mathias for violating copyright laws. A bench trial before Judge Steven McAuliffe will begin in US District Court in Concord on September 18. “Music is enormously valuable to bars and restaurants, creating an emotional connection with patrons and providing the right ambiance to attract and retain customers. Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music,” – said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP executive vice-president of licensing.
ASCAP names three songs that were played without permission
ASCAP is demanding $30,000 for each song the club played without permission. There are several songs named in the lawsuit including “Too Close” by Next, “I Like To Move It” by Real 2 Real and “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters. Peter Tamposi, who will represent the club during the trial has confirmed that the club, in fact, played the named songs, but he will argue that it shouldn’t have to pay any fees in reparation. According to him, the club didn’t play the songs on its own accord, instead, a Dj which was hired for an event included the named songs in his setlist. “Here the Defendants license fees are $5,868.00 and a fair assessment of damages in excess of the licenses fee would be similar,” – Tamposi commented.
ASCAP, the organization which filed the lawsuit against Boston Billiard Club & Casino represents over 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. It is also the duty of the organization to protect the rights of its members. “Each ASCAP member grants to ASCAP a non-exclusive right to license the performing rights in that member’s copyrighted musical compositions. On behalf of its members, ASCAP licenses public performances of its members’ musical works, collects license fees associated with those performances, and distributes royalties to its members, less ASCAP’s operating expenses,” – states the organization.