Just in case you were starting to develop a soft spot for major music industry players in this time of widespread financial woes, word has spread that the kindhearted, big-picture-seeing folks at BMI, along with an unnamed "collection of labels and artists," have filed a lawsuit against Pianos for failing to pay royalties on eight songs that have been performed (by whom, I don't know, but I assume it's a karaoke thing) inside the venue. Songs on the list include "The Final Countdown," "Paint it Black," "Talk Dirty to Me" and, god help me, "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine. The best part of the suit is when they claim Pianos has "caused Plaintiffs great and incalculable damage."
Gothamist is reporting that the maximum a club would have to pay in royalties is $912.50 per year—not exactly a huge chunk of change for an established, long-running NYC music venue. They should have paid, clearly, so I'm not exactly crying for the people at Pianos.
I'm crying for music industry as a whole, though, as it continues to employ exactly the wrong techniques in trying to fix the mess they've gotten themselves into. The time they spend going after small businesses and individuals would obviously be better spent trying to figure out how to be financially viable in these rapidly changing times. It is amazing how sick I am of writing about things, and how unaffected the real guilty parties are by reading them. [Gothamist via Sound of the City]