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Indy club must pay BMI for DJ’s tunes

April 10, 2014

A downtown Indianapolis nightclub must pay a tab approaching $20,000 because the club and DJs failed to obtain public-performance licenses after repeated warnings.

Blu Lounge at 240 S. Meridian St. and its operator Shawn Cannon were ordered April 4 to pay $15,000 in statutory damages for intentional copyright infringement plus $4,644 in attorney fees to performing rights society BMI Inc.

BMI sued after repeatedly sending letters for two years and calling the club about the need to gain permission for public performances. The suit names three songs – “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life,” “Show Me Love” and “I’ll Be Around.” In June 2013, BMI sent an agent to the club to record performance of the songs, and the suit followed.

“Blu and Cannon have not responded to the complaint,” U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Young wrote. Default judgment was entered in January and Young’s April 4 order granted BMI’s request for damages plus interest. BMI estimated in the litigation that the club’s annual license fee would have been about $3,861.

BMI licenses the right to publicly perform 7.5 million copyrighted works, according to court documents. The case is Broadcast Music, Inc., et al. v. SC Entertainment, LLC, et al., 1:13-CV-01678.
 

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