‘Copyright breach’ leads to court action against Limerick pub

IMRO was granted an injunction against Bourkes bar

IMRO was granted an injunction against Bourkes bar

  • by David Hurley

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), has initiated legal proceedings against the owners of a Limerick pub over alleged breaches of music copyright and the non payment of royalties.

At Limerick Circuit Court, lawyers representing IMRO applied for an injunction preventing the playing of music at Bourkes Bar, Catherine Street.

According to court documents filed in support of the application, IMRO claims that Bourkes Bar does not currently have a music licence and has not paid more than €4,000 in royalties.

Bourkes Bar and its licence holder, Lorcan Bourke, were granted a music licence by IMRO in March 2011, which permits the playing of (live and recorded) music at the premises.

During the court proceedings, Judge Carroll Moran was told the licence was revoked on May 1, last for alleged non payment of royalties and breaches of the Copyright Act.

According to its website, IMRO administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members.

Under copyright legislation, royalties must be paid to the copyright holders for all public performances of its member’s work - be it live or recorded.

Faye Revington BL, representing IMRO, told the court that a music licence was granted in March 2011 granting the owners of the premises the right to play music.

Ms Revington said demands for payment were made in January and February of this year before the licence was revoked.

In July, a civil equity bill was furnished to the owners of Bourkes seeking further demand for the monies and Ms Revington added that in October, notice was also served that proceedings were being initiated.

Solicitor, Andrew Darcy, representing the respondents, requested an adjournment of the proceedings said he would need several weeks to prepare a defence.

He indicated that his clients are disputing the amount of royalties which are owed.

Ms Revington opposed the application for an adjournment.

She claimed that music is still being played at the venue despite the absence of a music licence and that her clients were seeking an immediate injunction to stop the playing of music at the pub.

Judge Moran said he was willing to give Mr Darcy time to prepare a defence.

However, he said the matter will be heard in full on the next date.

The application was adjourned until January 28, next.


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