The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has filed copyright infringement suits against 10 nightclubs, bars and restaurants in eight states. Although all establishments licensed rights from the performing rights organization, they allegedly failed to comply with the payment terms.

"The situation with these establishments is certainly regrettable," Vincent Candilora, senior VP of licensing for ASCAP, said is a statement today (Dec. 4). "But it has long been ASCAP's experience that if we do not enforce our agreements with club owners and other music users, many of them will simply continue to avoid their obligations to comply with the law. In the end, this really hurts the individual songwriters who are also, in effect, 'small business owners'."

The establishments are: La Perla Cafe in Glendale, Ariz.; Club Central in Phoenix; Fat Fenders Grille and Saloon in Englewood, Colo.; Renegades Country Bar in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Sissy K's in Boston; Black Betty in Brooklyn, N.Y.; TC Hooligan's Bar & Grill in Rochester, N.Y.; Mad Frog in Cincinnati; Bob & Barbara's in Philadelphia; and The Vault in Houston.

ASCAP reports that it reached out to each of the establishments repeatedly over a significant period of time before taking legal action, in some cases over a period as long as two years; in every instance, the establishment refused to pay the fees owed yet continued to perform ASCAP members' repertoire.