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37 Main, BMI to settle copyright lawsuit over music
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Downtown Gainesville business 37 Main is accused of copyright infringement in a lawsuit for allegedly playing music without a license. - photo by Scott Rogers

The attorneys for 37 Main and Broadcast Music Inc., which controls the public performance rights for millions of songs, filed a motion Aug. 21 to close a copyright infringement case, indicating to the court that they have agreed to settle. 

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story granted the motion Aug. 24 in the case in which BMI alleged the Gainesville restaurant played music from its repertoire without authorization to do so. 

According to the motion, the parties “have executed a settlement agreement containing certain obligations over time” and expect the terms to be complete on or before Oct. 1. 

C. David Joyner, the attorney for 37 Main and its operating company Please Rock ME LLC, declined to comment through a representative from his office. 

Troy Covington, the plaintiffs’ attorney, did not return multiple messages seeking comment Tuesday, Sept. 1. 

The lawsuit alleged 10 claims of “willful copyright infringement” and claimed BMI made more than 85 attempts by phone, mail and email to contact 37 Main and its owners. 

The infringement allegations are from Jan. 17, 2019, and include songs such as “American Pie” by Don McLean, “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and “Old Time Rock and Roll” by George Jackson and Thomas E. Jones III. 

When the lawsuit was first filed, one of the restaurant’s owners, David White, said he believed there was a misunderstanding. He told The Times in August 2019 there was a service rented from a California company for playing music videos. 

Story ordered the clerk to close the case while “retaining jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement.” 

No details of the settlement agreement were available through the online court record database. 

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