The 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment and legal fees in favor of plaintiffs (ASCAP) against defendant (restaurant/lounge). Defendant was vicariously liable for copyright infringement related to the public performance, both by a live band and by a CD, of copyrighted songs. Plaintiff's proof was an investigative report by a visitor to the premises. The report did not need to be by a certified expert because "identifying popular songs does not require 'scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge'.” The Court rejected defendant's argument that a showing of substantial similarity was required for a public performance case. The Court properly awarded attorney's fees to Plaintiff.
January 13, 2012
9th Cir. Affirms Public Performance Liability Against Restaurant
Range Road Music, Inc. v. East Coast Foods, Inc., No. 10-55691 (9th Cir. filed Jan. 12, 2012).