Long Island is a place people can take up residence within New York. Naturally, in places where homes and general living accommodations are, come restaurants. Silence in any eating establishment would be a little uncomfortable without some kind of background noise, right? So these institutions of grub put on music quietly in the background as a kind of ambiance… for now.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is currently suing nine Long Island restaurants for playing music in their dining rooms because they're not paying royalties where royalties are due to the ASCAP. Gothamist got a hold of the lawsuit and explained it a little bit further.
"According to the lawsuits, the restaurants were observed playing copyrighted material without obtaining the proper licenses to do so. Federal law states that any commercial establishment wanting to play copyrighted music in any form must first obtain the correct license that would pay out royalties to whomever deserves them. In the case of Digger's, The Homestead, BobbiQue and six other Long Island eateries, this didn't happen, despite numerous reminders from organizations representing the musicians."
I'm not even sure I can be mad about this one. If Federal Law says blah blah blah, and you own a business that has to abide by Federal Law, then maybe get familiar with the rules that will become immediately important to you upon opening your doors. ASCAP is currently seeking up to $150,000 in each other nine lawsuits against the restaurants, which seems steep until you learn they've been warning these places for eight years that this would eventually happen.
I'd say weigh in on the ordeal, but the law is the law. So there's not exactly room for reasoning with it unfortunately.