IMRO in court bid to stop Limerick bar playing music


Andrew Carey

IMRO, the Irish Music Rights Organisation, is seeking a court injunction against the owners of a Limerick bar from playing any kind of music at its premises, recorded or live, for alleged breaches of music copyright and the non payment of royalties.

Bourkes Bar and its named operator, Lorcan Bourke, was granted a music licence in March 2011 where the bar is permitted to play music at its venue.

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However, as IMRO sought an injunction at Limerick Circuit Court this week to prevent the owners playing music, the court was told that the licence was revoked on May 1st last for alleged non payment of royalties and breach of copyright act.

According to papers filed to support the injunction application, IMRO claim that Bourkes Bar defaulted on the payment of royalties to the tune of over €4,100.

IMRO is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members (who are songwriters, composers and music publishers) and on behalf of the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it.

Under the copyright legislation, royalties must be paid to the copyright holders for all all public performances of theri work be it live or recorded.

Counsel for IMRO, Faye Revington BL, told the court that the licence was granted in March 2011 and thus granted the owners the right to play music. Royalty fees would be paid in lieu.

Ms Revington outlined to Judge Moran that demands for payment were made in January and February of this year before the licence was revoked.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.

Andrew Darcy, for the respondents, told the court that he would need until the end of next January to collate the defence. He said that his client had a defence to the amount of money alleged to be owed.

Ms Revington claimed that music was still being played at the venue despite the absence of a licence and said that she was instructed to immediately seek the injunction from them continuing to do so.

Judge Moran said that he would grant Mr Darcy time to gather the defence but said that the matter would be heard in full on the next date. The motion was adjourned until January 28 next.