The sole director of Illusion Bar & Nightclub Pty Ltd, Peter Arhontogiorgis, was ordered to pay APRA AMCOS $114,113.28 in licence fees, interest, court costs and additional damages for infringement of the Copyright Act 1968.
Judge Philip Dowdy of the Federal Circuit Court said the case against the former operator of the Queensberry Street, Carlton (Vic) music venue “constitutes a serious breach of copyright” as well as a “complete and deliberate disregard of [APRA AMCOS’] rights” noting the “need to effect deterrence against similar infringements of copyright”.
The court action represents APRA AMCOS’s preparedness to enforce its members’ rights in circumstances where businesses are performing music in public without a licence.
Mr Arhontogiorgis did not appear in court.
“The majority of hotels, bars and nightclubs not only recognise the importance of music to their business and its ability to attract and hold clientele, but understand they also have an obligation to ensure that songwriters are properly paid,” said Richard Mallett, head of revenue at APRA AMCOS.
“Unfortunately for Mr Arhontogiorgis he has found out what happens when you trade on the commercial benefits of music without paying for it”.
Image: The Advertiser