Off-Topic: Paramount Sues Italian Restaurant for Playing Gershwin Music

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2007-01-16 Print this article Print

This has nothing to do with search engines, but it seems to be so incredibly absurd I thought it deserved a honored spot in the "Today in Stupid" category.

Paramount Music Corporation, Warner Bros., and several other publishing companies are suing Washington-based Guiseppe's Italian Restaurant for hosting public performances of popular jazz tunes by the likes of Erroll Garner, Herman Huffeld, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin, Google Watch has learned. You can download the lawsuit here.

According to a lawsuit filed January 8, owner Mario Guiseppe refuses to ask permission from the publishers or the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to perform the works. The typical lawsuit language of refined hyperbole reads: "The said wrongful acts of the Defendants have caused and are causing great injury to the Plaintiffs, which damage cannot be accurately computed, and unless the Court restrains the Defendants from the further commission of said acts, said Plaintiffs will suffer irreperable injury."

The lawyers even included a table listing the songs performed, the copyright holder, and the date of the infringements, all of which apparently occured on August 18, 2006.

Six copyrighted songs performed on one day in August and you're suffering irreparable harm? Why do I have the feeling that some schmoe of a copyright lawyer happened to attend a wedding at Guiseppe's, heard the music, got in a fight with the owner, and decided to sue. I'm not saying that happened, but jeez -- this lawsuit reeks. |

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