Springsteen Demands ASCAP Remove His Name From Lawsuit Against NY Pub

Film Music Magazine • February 11, 2010

After news reports surfaced that performing rights organization ASCAP had included Bruce Springsteen’s name in a copyright lawsuit against a New York pub and restaurant, “The Boss” has demanded that his name be taken off the lawsuit.

“Bruce Springsteen had no knowledge of this lawsuit, was not asked if he would participate as a named plaintiff, and would not have agreed to do so if he had been asked,” said his publicity firm, Shore Fire Media in a statement. The statement continued, “Upon learning of this lawsuit, Bruce Springsteen’s representatives demanded the immediate removal of his name from the lawsuit.”

The suit was filed against Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant on W. 45th St. in New York City, and alleged that the establishment failed to pay a licensing fee to ASCAP while songs including music by Springsteen was played at the bar.

Springsteen had no comment for the original news story about the lawsuit, but ASCAP’s Vincent Candilora, Sr. Vice President for Licensing told the NY Daily News, “It’s not about him as a recording artist. In this instance, he’s simply a songwriter with rights.”

An LA musician who asked to remain anonymous told Film Music Magazine, “It’s ironic that Bruce Springsteen cut his teeth playing the same kind of clubs that he now doesn’t want to pursue for license fees for those same kinds of performances.”

Performing rights industry sources say the move by Springsteen threatens to undercut efforts by the rights societies to aggressively enforce the rights of their member writers and publishers when clubs and other live music establishments refuse to pay license fees for live music performances.

Comments

By Julius J. Davis, Jr. on February 12th, 2010 at 7:38 am

While I totally respect Bruce’s decision not to be named on this lawsuit, I do question why—because as a songwriter and a musician, if my songs were playing ANYWHERE, I would want to be fairly compensated, pursuant to the applicable laws of copyright and performance royalties. Bruce is certainly entitled to whatever monies due him for his songs being played in those clubs, and he should be fairly compensated, as I would want to be.

With technology available to people who puruse activities to undermine the laws in place to protect songwriters and other creative individuals, it is tantamount to the conintued protection of songwriters and their work that clubs like this one be made to follow the laws of copyright and pay those songwriters, as the copyright laws state they should, PERIOD!!!

By mike on February 13th, 2010 at 6:09 am

I guess like the debate…. I agree completely with the article and the need for business to compensate (here it comes)…BUT the PRO’s expect some establishments to have multiple licenses for various medium…and then they all expect it. So, All 3 want a fee for the background radio, live stage, and even a separate for satellite radio. I don’t blame Bruce for not wanting his name on this. The PRO’s need to get their act together and not alienate the end user. Beside I have plenty of documented usage they haven’t even paid me for….maybe they need to catch up on that before they start nailing beer joints and cellphone rings!

By Ipoop on February 13th, 2010 at 7:54 am

Maybe I don’t understand the full context of what happened here, but, I think its cool that he took his name off. There is so much BS legal stuff and suing of everyone these days for every little thing it’s become retarded. I think there is a time and place for receiving royalties i.e – such as radio, film and so on. As a practicing musician and composer, if there is directly intentional profit made by an organization or “company” specifically by playing the music (such as mentioned above) to sell tickets, gain advert revenue etc, then go get it. But for some schlub running a bar playing music in the background – gimme a break. They must play 20 songs an hour. if they had to pay every song, they would never make a profit, go out of business and then all the places we love to go and hang out would dry up and disappear. As humans we know how to strangle the life out of anything we love.
As a footnote – legally if you purchase a record you are entitled to play the recordings as much as you like wherever (for the most part), so if some guy came to a bar with a boombox because the bar had no radio and played the music for himself, would he be required to pay royalties because a few other people around him heard it?? Also, I think that can be counter-productive. Sometimes if Im out and hear a great song and had forgot about it, it reminds me I should pick up a copy….you never know when its also helping you make a sale of a track or album – you maybe be cutting into your own profit by demanding .90¢ for the once-in-a-bluemoon the song is played, rather than potentially selling a couple records at $10. I think he’s smart not to bite the hand that has fed him. Artist need to stop strangling themselves in inappropriate situations.

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