Music Licensing Lawsuit
2:29 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

BMI sues Slidell bar over licensing fee

A Slidell bar accused of playing songs without paying a standard music licensing is being sued for copyright infringement.

The Times-Picayune reports Broadcast Music Inc., a nonprofit composers' rights organization, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans against Tooloula's Bar.

Federal law mandates that writers and publishers of music are entitled to be paid for the public performance of their music. Bars and other businesses usually pay an annual fee to groups such as BMI for a blanket license to their songs.

BMI spokesman Ari Surdoval says the organization made 36 phone calls and sent 24 letters to the bar urging it to get itself the appropriate license for live and recorded music.

Tooloula's owner Ronald Backes described BMI as "very rude people."

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