Broad. Music, Inc. v. Northside Rivarly's LLC

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 07-02-2013
  • Case #: 5:13-CV-36 (CAR)
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92976
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 3339037
  • Full Text Opinion

Copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 101 for public performance of musical compositions, can be proven by proof of copyright registration and an investigator's affidavit that the work was publicly performed.

Opinion (Royal): Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) owns copyrights to six songs which Northside Rivarly’s, LLC d/b/a Rivarly’s On Northside (“Rivarly’s”) publicly performed at their establishment on August 9, 2012 without a license granting them permission to do so. BMI made sixteen attempts by mail and another twenty-eight attempts by phone to warn Rivarly’s of the infringement and possible licensing options, with no response. BMI filed a complaint alleging six counts of willful copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 101. BMI received an entry of default and subsequently BMI filed a Motion for Default Judgment. In an action alleging copyright infringement for public performance of musical compositions, BMI needed to prove (1) that they originally authored or composed the work, (2) that they complied with copyright formalities under Title 17 of the United States Code, (3) that they are the proprietor of the compositions in the action, (4) that Rivarly’s publicly performed the composition, and (5) that Rivarly’s did not have a license from or permission from them or their representative to perform the composition. BMI had proof of copyright registration which was sufficient to prove the first three elements. The fourth element, public performance, was proved by the affidavit of BMI’s investigator who had recorded the publicly performed show. BMI met the fifth element using supporting evidence that Rivarly’s failed to procure a license or permission. Therefore, the court GRANTED BMI's motion for default judgment.

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