October 2018

PLAYING OF MUSIC IN VENUES/PUBLIC SPACES

On 12 September 2018 the Federal Circuit Court of Australia made Orders against the operator (there were two related entities) of restaurant/bar(s) in Melbourne for and in respect of breach of copyright. The total of the financial Orders exceeded $200,000.00.

This case concerned the operator(s) of two venues in Melbourne which had operated since about 2012. The licensor, PPCA, had attempted to work with the operator to have the venues licensed. The Court accepted that PPCA sent 20 letters, 18 emails and made over 40 phone calls to try to resolve the issue. The evidence suggested that the operator would not ever proceed with finalising a licence for the venues.

Even when served with Court documents, the operator would not cooperate and did not participate in the proceedings before the Court. Summary judgment was therefore granted, the Court having been satisfied that the operator(s) and/or its director performed (i.e. played) protected sound recordings in public (i.e. its venues). Her Honour Judge Baird held that the operator and its director:

“…appear to have either acted in a flagrant disregard of copyright, or at least to have turned a blind eye or put their ‘heads in the sand’.”

Of the amount Ordered, $150,000.00 was in respect of additional damages and was intended to have the effect of general deterrence.

IF YOU PLAY MUSIC IN YOUR BUSINESS OR OTHERWISE PUBLICLY IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT YOU HOLD AN APPROPRIATE LICENCE TO DO SO. MORE THAN A SINGLE LICENCE MAY BE REQUIRED.

If you are in doubt, seek legal or other professional advice.

If you receive a letter or any other document alleging infringement, seek legal advice immediately.

Information available from these websites may assist you:

This courtesy alert is for the information of Avenue Solutions’ clients and friends. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice.