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Dublin Square settles copyright infringement lawsuit

February 23, 2024
Students flock to Dublin Square on St. Patrick's Day, Mar. 17, 2022.
Students flock to Dublin Square on St. Patrick's Day, Mar. 17, 2022. —
Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

East Lansing bar Dublin Square has settled its lawsuit with the copyright licensing association that accused the bar of playing songs without proper licensing in October 2023. 

Dublin was one of 12 bars and restaurants sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, on Oct. 17, 2023. The association represents over 940,000 music creators with over 18 million works in its repertoire.

In the lawsuit, ASCAP claimed Dublin Square played copyrighted songs after losing its ASCAP license in 2019 due to a missed annual payment. Dublin was accused of using the songs “Play that Funky Music,” “Trap Queen” and “Funky Cold Medina” in June 2023.

ASCAP Assistant Vice President for Public Relations Cathy Halgas Nevins confirmed the lawsuit had been settled in an email to The State News on Wednesday. The terms of the settlement will remain confidential, she said.

At the time of the lawsuit, Dublin Square owner Paul Vlahakis said he was never contacted by ASCAP before litigation, while ASCAP senior vice president of business and legal affairs Jackson Wagener said the association reached out to the establishments’ owners “numerous times over the course of at least a year.” 

ASCAP’s attorney, Brian Wassom of Warner Norcross and Judd, declined to comment on the issue. Jackson Wagener did not respond to an email request for comment at the time of publication. 

Shawn Mach of Klug Law Firm, the attorney representing Dublin Square’s operator Authentic Properties, was not available for comment at the time of publication. 

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