Broad. Music, Inc. v. Meadowlake, Ltd.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Copyright, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 07-29-2013
  • Case #: 5:12CV1024
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105850
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 3927793

Injunctive relief was appropriate when there was a strong possibility that copyright infringement would occur in the future, due to infringer's high level of disregard shown to copyright owner's work in the past.

Opinion (Limbert): Broadcast Music, Inc. (“BMI”) acquired non-exclusive public performance rights from each of the plaintiffs. BMI grants music users, such as owners of restaurants and nightclubs, the right to publicly perform any of the works in BMI’s catalog. Defendants Roy E. Barr, and his son, Philip R. Barr, are members of Meadowlake Ltd., a limited liability company operating Rafters Bar & Grill, which offered musical entertainment without a license from BMI and without obtaining permission from the copyright owners whose music was being publicly performed. After sending multiple cease-and-desist letters, BMI moved for summary judgment for copyright infringement. The Copyright Act provides the owner of a copyright work with the exclusive right to perform, and authorize others to perform, the copyrighted work. Liability for copyright infringement extends to individuals who have the right to supervise the infringing activity and have a financial interest in the exploitation of copyrighted materials.17 U.S.C. §502(a) provides that a court may grant injunctions “to prevent or restrain infringement of a copyright.” While Meadowlake Ltd. declared bankruptcy, it was unclear whether Rafters Bar and Grill was still operational at any level. Because there was a strong possibility that copyright infringement would occur in the future, and because defendant had shown a high level of disregard for plaintiffs’ rights in the past, injunctive relief in this case was appropriate. Courts have held that a statutory damage award of three times the amount of the licensing fees is appropriate under 17 U.S.C. § 504(c). The statutory awards requested in this case were twice the cost of the licensing fees. Accordingly, the court GRANTED summary judgment, injunctive relief and statutory damages.

Advanced Search