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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:59 AM

Open mic nights at bar lead to lawsuit from BMI over music, ask for $121,000 [View all]

Pittsburgh-area bars facing lawsuits by Mick Jagger, Lady Gaga, Sting, other rock stars

It's a high-stakes fight over the right to play -- and the obligation to pay -- for music.

WTAE’s investigation found the music industry is stepping up its legal attacks against bars that fail to pay licensing fees. Those fees cost bars thousands of dollars per year for the right to have live music.

....

“I was just floored,” said Henry Robbins, owner of the Boot Scoot'n Saloon in West Newton.

He was a target of those stars and others, all because of a handful of songs played by local amateur musicians at an open mic night.

“Truthfully they weren't very good and people were anxious for them to leave so they could play the jukebox again,” Robbins said.
...

“They were looking for $121,000 from us,” Robbins said. “I thought that was outrageous, totally . That's why I had to fight it.”

http://www.wtae.com/news/local/investigations/Pittsburgh-area-bars-facing-lawsuits-by-Mick-Jagger-Lady-Gaga-Sting-other-rock-stars/-/12023024/18430584/-/aegkc/-/index.html#ixzz2KVZl52Tm

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