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St. Paul music venue reaches settlement over alleged copyright infringement

ASCAP claimed the Amsterdam Bar and Hall hadn't been paying to use its protected music.
Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Update: Both the Amsterdam Bar and Hall and ASCAP has confirmed a settlement has been reached to end the pending legal action against the venue.

ASCAP says it reached a "confidential settlement with the bar on Tuesday afternoon.

Original story

A St. Paul music venue is facing legal action over claims it has not paid for rights to play copyrighted music.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) says it's taking action against 19 venues across the U.S., which it alleges have been playing music without authorization.

Among those subject to the legal action is the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul, which ASCAP claims has not paid sufficiently to obtain the rights to play certain songs.

However, the Amsterdam told BMTN that it has been "disputing their [ASCAP] billing figures for some time now and have let them know that."

"Although we haven't heard back from them about this issue since July, we are looking forward to getting this resolved very soon," co-owner Jarret Oulman said.

ASCAP is one of several organizations that protects the musical copyrights of its members, with licenses required to play their songs in public places, such as retail or dining businesses.

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The price charged by ASCAP varies depending upon the type of establishment applying for permission, but claims that the average cost for bars and restaurants is less than $2 per day, with a portion of those costs being passed on to the artists.

"Each of the establishments sued today has decided to use music without compensating songwriters," said ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing Stephanie Ruyle.

"Hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do.

"By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music."

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