Metropolis radio station sued for copyright infringement

Ann Knef Nov. 20, 2007, 7:13am

Lionel Richie wrote "All Night Long (All Night)"

Sun Media, Inc. and its general manager Samuel K. Stratemeyer, which operate WRIK-FM radio station in Metropolis, Ill. may be in trouble over Somebody's Baby.

Give Me One Reason, All Night Long and All My Life, too.

The songs' owners are giving the radio station 10 reasons why it "willfully infringed" on copyrighted material in a federal civil lawsuit filed Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

According to the plaintiffs, which include Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, WRIK-FM plays copyrighted songs from the repertory of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) without license.

It's not the first time the station and its owner have been sued for copyright infringement.

"In 1993, members of ASCAP filed a virtually identical copyright infringement action against Defendants, Tauripin Tunes, et al. v. Sun Media, Inc. and Samuel K. Stratemeyer," the complaint states.

"That action was settled when Defendants agreed to pay a stipulated amount and execute a new ASCAP license for WRIK-FM, and comply with the terms and conditions of their ASCAP license agreement."

According to the new suit, WRIK-FM eventually satisfied the monetary portion of the stipulated settlement but did not obtain an ASCAP license.

"Despite having been sued previously for copyright infringement by ASCAP members, Defendants have continued to perform copyrighted songs in the ASCAP repertory without permission," the complaint states.

Represented by Jared D. Solovay of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson of Chicago, the plaintiffs want the station enjoined from playing copyrighted material, as well as to pay up to $1.5 million, but no less than $7,500 in damages.

The suit names 10 instances in which copyrighted songs were played on Feb. 26.

Besides Somebody's Baby written by Jackson Browne and Danny Kortchmar and owned by Night Kitchen Music and WB Music Corp., the suit claims these infringements:

  • All Night Long, written by Lionel Richie and owned by Brockman Music and Brenda Richie Publishing;

  • All My Life, written by Joel Hailey and Rory Bennett and owned by EMI April Music, Inc., Cord Kayla Music and Hee Bee Doinit Music;

  • Keep On Loving You, written by Kevin Cronin and owned by Fate Music;

  • She Drives Me Crazy, written by David Steele and Roland Gift and owned by EMI Virgin Music, Inc.;

  • Love of a Lifetime, written by William Leverty and Carl Snare and owned by Wocka Wocka Music, Sony/ATV Tunes;

  • Give Me The Night, written by Rod Temperton and owned by Rodsongs;

  • Walk of Life, written by Mark Knopfler and owned by Almo Music Corp.; and

  • That's The Way It Is, written by Martin Sanberg, Max Martin, Kristian Lundin and Andreas Michael Carlsson and owned by Zonba Enterprises.

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