Lake of the Ozarks restaurant accused of copyright infringement

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN - Broadcasting Music Incorporated (BMI) filed a lawsuit against Jolly Rogers Grub N' Grog on the Lake of the Ozarks claiming the business infringed on copyright laws. 

BMI, along with 17 other music licensees, filed a complaint in federal court claiming Jolly Rogers restaurant performed songs licensed to BMI without authorization. 

BMI is a corporation in New York that has the right to license the public performance of over 8.5 million copyrighted musical compositions.

The music corporations are asking for a injunction to stop Jolly Rogers from using their music and the judge to assess damage fees. 

"If a piece of music is copyrighted, and somebody performs it without permission, then that is a problem," said MU communications law professor Sandy Davidson.

Jolly Rogers LLC and the owner Joseph Jung have responded to the complaint saying they hope the complaint does not go further and both parties pay their own costs because they do not think they have infringed on copyright laws. 

The establishment claims the songs performed were used in fair use, were independently created, were authorized or were also in the public domain. 

Songs that BMI claimed Jolly Rogers used include: "Beat It" by Michael Joe Jackson, "Good Lovin'" by Rudy Clark, "I Want You To Want Me" by Rick Nielsen, "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" by Dan Baird, "Mustang Sally" by Bonny Rice, "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga, "All Your Life" by Brian Henningsen and Clara Henningsen, and "December" by Ed Roland. 

Davidson says the claims by Jolly Rogers are common in these types of complaints; however, fair use can only be used if only a part of the song was played, and these songs would not be part of the public domain because they are too new. 

"Cases like this are brought to warn establishments that they do indeed need to pay those licencing fees," Davidson said.  

Jolly Rogers is currently closed for the winter months but will reopen in April. KOMU 8 was unable to reach the restaurant owners Thursday evening.