Hiro Ballroom To Have The Girl Jeans Sued Off It By The RIAA You’ve Never Heard Of

Jul 31st, 2007 // 14 Comments

The Hiro Ballroom in New York, site of many mildly depressing free shows that bloggers flock to like Catholics to a shame party, is among the 26 venues being sued by ASCAP for copyright infringement. Other venues on ASCAP’s hit list include familiar names like the Sanctuary in Atlanta, Nuno’s in Austin, and, uh, the Holiday Inn Southfield in Southfield, Mich. Given that the Tommy Page-playing bar in Tucson got hit for $210 million, Hiro’s bill is likely to involve words like “bazillion.”

Says an ASCAP capo: “ASCAP is simultaneously filing these 26 actions to create awareness among music users and the public that it is a Federal offense to perform copyrighted music without permission. … Taking legal action is always ASCAP’s last step in a long process of contacting, informing and educating business establishments. … With many of these cases, the process has been going on for over a year, so they have had plenty of time to do the right thing.” By which they mean stop letting DJs play music, since that’s what “perform” means here. So bad news, Tegan and Sara fans: when you go see them tomorrow, you might not be able to see someone spin “tampon rock” between sets. Which is ridiculous; surely the Hiro could’ve covered the license costs with the profit on their $8 goddamn beers.

ASCAP Initiates Infringement Actions Against Establishments Performing Copyrighted Music Without Permission [Marketwire]
Hiro Ballroom [Official site]


  1. zaky

    That is absolutely. Fucking. Retarded. Boo, RIAA.

  2. brainchild

    this has nothing to do with the RIAA, Zaky.

  3. rogerniner

    yeah, this is a whole other set of thugs. How much are yearly ASCAP fees?

  4. Mike Barthel

    @rogerniner: I tried to figure out the current rates and didn’t have any luck. Anyone?

  5. MrRockstar

    What’s next ? Trying to sue musicians for playing their own songs ?

  6. Halfwit

    @MrRockstar: Fantasy v Fogerty. I couldn’t find a useful link, but it’s worth looking up.

  7. samplesize me

    Sad to say, I’m kind of thrilled. It’ll finally put an end to that random “I-Buy-Big-Headphones-And-Have a-Mac-so-I’m-a-DJ” trend that all those lame hipsters are in to.

    Does any one else remember when being a DJ required more than plugging in an iPod?? Does anything else think a DJ set by some guy who used to be in Brazilian Girls is worth the warm $7 Sparks?


  8. riskybusiness

    Ha! Finally they shoot themselves in the foot. This is so awesome that I don’t even know what to say about it. Wait, can i get prosecuted if I play an advanced promotional copy that was sent to me based on the premise that I will play it in public for other people to hear and hopefully go buy. Ow. My head hurts. Oh yeah, i still use LP Records to DJ. No CDs / or iPods here (although I secretly wish I were using one everytime I have to lug around those fucking milk crates).

  9. Jon W

    @samplesize me: You mean when DJs could only bring a couple crates worth of records that were limited to what they could purchase in their local market? (Rockist scum!)

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  11. audiogeek

    So these 26 venues did not pay their ASCAP dues for the year?

    Some places that deem themselves soley live music venues may try to pull that; but really what are the chances that ZERO songs registered with ASCAP are going to be played? Even that place where all the crackheads congregate and bang on trash cans and shit must inadvertently knock something out that one of those guys who “evaluates” tracks for copyright violations can point out its similarity to an ASCAP registered status song. There’s number 27.

  12. goldsoundz


    Obviously what they choose to play is the most important thing, but you can usually bet that a guy ‘djing’ through a laptop or an ipod is going to have a really predictable set. It’s the difference between a weddings and bar mitzvah dj against someone who’s going to beat match.

  13. Anonymous

    if you still use records, you’re hardcore. your penis must be 10 times larger than mine because you play really real records.

    i don’t care what medium you use. i truly don’t care if you’re using two edison coils and a black box from the back of an airplane. play some good music, and make me dance, motherfuckers…

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