I keep telling people that COPYRIGHT LAW HAS TEETH.
This is an example of those teeth. The plaintiff, copyright holder ASCAP, is going after Daisy Baker’s, which is a business local to me (well, sort of local…the next city over), for allowing performance of music on which copyright exists. The business is the venue in which the music was allegedly played without license. The article doesn’t say whether ASCAP is also going after the performers (they could).
It’s easy (very easy) to license music from ASCAP or BMI (the two big copyright holders in the music world). It’s cheap to license the music. It’s expensive to defend a copyright infringement suit (lawyers cost money…), and then to pay the statutory remedies that are available for a registered copyright, perhaps trebled, perhaps with plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees added in…. Why go there when it’s so easy and cheap to license the music to begin with??