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Small Town Bar Sued Over Rock & Grohl Music

12/14/2009 7:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Kid Rock and Dave Grohl are the new Taylor Swift and Gwen Stefani -- because now the fellas are following in their feminine counterpart's footsteps by suing a small town bar for allegedly jacking their tunes.



The two rockers dropped a serious copyright infringement lawsuit on a Canton, Ohio watering hole -- Mallonn's Grill & Bar -- because the drinking establishment allegedly didn't have the licensing it needed to play their music.

Now the two musicians want the bar to cough up money for damages and stop playing their music immediately.

Swift, Stefani and even Bon Jovi have filed similar suits against other bars across the country within the last month.

39 COMMENTS

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31.

charly    

Must. Do. What. ASCAP. Commands.

1743 days ago
32.

Michele    

Really Kid Rock?! Cuz you don't have enough money. Seriously? If bars didn't PROMO you, you'd be nowhere...so maybe you need to have a little reflection time!

1743 days ago
33.

John    

These panhandling artists with their hands out at every opportunity are really pissing me off. The license fees only come back to us.

Throughout your day, how many establishments that play music do you encounter. Now how many times do you want to re-pay a license for Smoke on the Water!!!?

1743 days ago
34.

A Crumsy Pirate    

There could be a happy ending to this:

Hey small bar owners - if you don't want to pay off the thousands of dollars per annum to licensing companies for these rockstars, hows about letting NEW bands come in and play LIVE with ORIGINAL material?

You could even play those musicians a decent rate for playing your bar, too, without demanding that the band itself guarantee that impossible 100 people before you even open the doors.

It would be WIN for the bar owners who might get a few new customers - as well as bragging rights to saying "I knew them when..."

It would be WIN for the musicians who are willing to write NEW material instead of playing boring covers.

It would be WIN for the customers who get the opportunity to enjoy something new for a change.

Who stands to lose? The overbloated music industry lawyers and beancounters and rockstars who haven't done anything interesting in years.

1740 days ago
35.

cantoncrue    

How about those guys who boast they have 20,000 kareoke songs you know they didn't pay for? Or What about these places that are playing videos they jacked off Mtv? Or Each other? I can name 4 other bars around the corner of this place that are raking in $$$ with a cover charge and never paid a cent to the music licensing. . Try Billy Badz and Paninis for instance. . AND those hip hop djs in town just play stuff from youtube if they dont have it, . I have seen it!

1740 days ago
36.

DBallsmartbar    

As a former employee of one of the bars previously sued for this, I will be actively watching this case and further cases. What this amounted to for us was basically how the police will suspect a drug dealer driving down the road and pulling them over for a "broken tail-light". During the "investigation" the "investigators" had to go through all the computers that were used for the "performing of questioned music".
******
Initially, it seemed like not such a big deal. Business went on during the beginning of the "investigation"
******
In the end, 2 DJs were charged with illegally obtained music and videos (P2P Shared files, Videos from Mtv, Songs where the Dj Had no proof he owned the original files, as well as lots of Kareoke). One guy was also turned into Microsoft for having a copy of Office.
******
So after it all, a business turned upside down and 2 DJs facing loads of piracy issues, . And the bar owner? Investigators claimed that they couldn't actually put a number on how many of the questioned songs were played against the original charge of "improper music licensing" so the charge was negotiated and forgotten, but not before the bar ended up shutting down.

1731 days ago
37.

DBallsmartbar    

Those of who are questioning whether a small "ma & pa" bar has to pay (extremely high) fees to the music industry unions, the answer is YES.

I own a small wine tasting bar. My seating area is only 26 people. My bar is completely family run; me, my spouse, and my daughter and son-in-law run the place. My brother-in-law comes in on Friday nights to play guitar.

In order for us to play music we must pay extremely high fees to these music unions. The fees cost me $1,100 a year! That is more than my wine license!

At first I questioned having to pay these companies. Then the harrassment began. We started getting visits from some very scary people. One day (the bar is also a wine shop that is open during the day) 3 BIG guys came in all wearing flak jackets. They handed me a letter that said I better pay up "or else". With customers in the shop they loudly said that they would send people in on Friday nights to video tape and record my brother-in-law singing songs. Then they would use that to take me to court and sue me.

Then the phone calls began everyday. They even called my home and private cell phone and left threatening messages. One night a hippie looking guy came in and sat in the bar and did not order anything, but glared at my brother-in-law and took notes all night. I'm sure he was recording, too. When he left he said "This place is going to be sued!"

The following Monday I had a packet in my mail with copies of a lawsuit they had bought against another bar. That afternoon I wrote them a check and paid the "protection money" they demanded.

The fines if you don't pay them are $14,000 PER SONG x each time it was played!!!

And those who question why we don't just play CDs.....well, even if you play CDs you still must pay these music unions. When you buy a CD it states on the package that it is for personal use only. If you are playing ANY music, whether it's live, CD, radio, or even on a TV within earshot of a customer, then you must pay these fees to the music company unions!

This is the LAW and anyone who tries to fight it in court will lose! Trust me on this. I have talked with many lawyers. It is the LAW that you have to pay up to these unions!

Congressman Mary Bono in Palm Springs is the one who fought the hardest to get these laws passed after her husband Sonny Bono died. I called her office to ask for her help, because I can not afford $1,100 a year. Her assistant hung up on me!

I admire this Idaho bar for standing up to these music unions, but I'm afraid they will lose in court and then they will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and probably lose their business. There are many, many stories all over the Internet about how these music unions have run businesses into the ground. Most bars just fire their musicians and never play music for their customers, because they can't afford the fees.

I personally believe this is extortion. These music unions use harrassment and threats. They don't care about small business owners who are struggling. All they care about is grabbing every last dime and enriching themself and the multi-millionaire "stars" they represent.

(And YES, Taylor Swift knows full well that she is involved in this lawsuit. The music union bringing this lawsuit (BMI) just awarded her a HUGE award last month. Look it up on Google. Type in BMI and Taylor Swift.)

(RE)Posted at 11:00PM on Nov 23rd 2009 by UnCorked Wine

1731 days ago
38.

tonya    

is this 4 real?

1496 days ago
39.

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1398 days ago
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