Patrick’s Pub Fundraising to Pay for Copyright Violation

Politicos of all stripes will be out in force tonight at tonight’s “Save the Music” fundraiser for Patrick’s Pub on Providence’s Smith Hill.  Here’s why:

Patrick’s Pub, a favorite Smith Hill political haunt, will pay $14,000 over three years for violating federal copyright laws.

The copyright holders sued the pub and its owner, Patrick T. Griffin, last year for violating laws four times when a band played reggae legend Bob Marley’s “Is This Love,” Tom Petty’s “The Waiting,” the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and “Ventura Highway” by Dewey Bunnell one night last February. They had sought $750 to $30,000 for each violation.

This was quite an expensive and bitter pill that the famous Irish pub was forced to swallow.  But copyright lawyers don’t mess around.

Though the suit was brought by the copyright holders, it was the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers that pursued the case. A membership organization of more than 330,000 composers, songwriters and music publishers, ASCAP requires bars, restaurants, nightclubs and even stores to pay license fees to gain unlimited access to its repertoire of millions of songs. Royalties are then distributed to publishers and writers, according to ASCAP.

Griffin repeatedly rebuffed efforts to get him to enter a license agreement, according to Richard Reimer, a lawyer for ASCAP. As a result, an ASCAP investigator went to the pub and saw the performance. Griffin has said he mistook ASCAP’s pursuit of a license as a scam. McKiernan said the pub now has a license agreement with ASCAP and all appropriate copyright organizations.

Stop by Patrick’s tonight and help them put this debt to rest!


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