Primo's, an Uptown Tex-Mex Staple, Is Being Sued for Playing Pop Music

Categories: Food News

Primo's Uptown.jpg
You know Primo's, the busy-as-hell Tex-Mex restaurant on McKinney Avenue? You've likely walked by its patio while it's packed to the rails with Uptowners lining their stomachs with cheese and tortillas before a night of shot-taking, misplaced credit cards and broken heels. The restaurant has been open since 1986, according to a manager, and was successful enough to spawn a second restaurant in Garland in 2007.

And now BMI, the massive music publisher, wants a slice of Primo's quesadilla. The company is targeting the owners and even a few of the employees for copyright infringement on behalf of 11 different artists and publishers in a federal lawsuit.

Through BMI, the plaintiffs allege a number of unlicensed performances of their music on September 20, 2011. This was the night "Billy Jean" played while fajitas sizzled, Anthony Kiedis sang "Californication" while customers requested extra hot sauce and Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" hinted at events yet to come.

BMI sends representatives out to bars are restaurants all over the country to listen for tracks from artists they represent. When a song is heard, a bill is presented and if that doesn't go over well, the legal team gets called in.

The same song plays out again and again, enough for the New York Times Magazine to cover the process, and another example to pop up at some rural midget wrestling bar over on Unfair Park earlier this year.


Location Info

Primo's Tex-Mex Bar & Grille - CLOSED

3309 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

Everyone who is defending BMI's actions go ahead and delete your Spotify accounts because the songwriter is getting something like .001 cents everytime you play their song.  Go and buy the t shirt at the show or purchase the record.  Hypocrites.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

The only good thing to come from Napster-MP3 era is the ongoing death & decay of this bullshit industry.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

Kick back watch it crumble
See the drowning, watch the fall
I feel just terrible about it
That's sarcasm, let it burn

I'm gonna make a toast when it falls apart
I'm gonna raise my glass above my heart
Then someone shouts "That's what they get!"

For all the years of hit and run
For all the piss broke bands on VH1
Where did all, their money go?
Don't we all know

Parasitic music industry
As it destroys itself
We'll show them how it's supposed to be

Music written from devotion
Not ambition, not for fame
Zero people are exploited
There are no tricks, up our sleeve

Gonna fight against the mass appeal
We're gonna kill the 7 record deal
Make records that have more than one good song
The dinosaurs will slowly die
And I do believe no one will cry
I'm just fucking glad I'm gonna be
There to watch the fall

Prehistoric music industry
Three feet in la brea tar
Extinction never felt so good

If you think anyone would feel badly
You are sadly, mistaken
The time has come for evolution
Fuck collusion, kill the five

Whatever happened to the handshake?
Whatever happened to deals no-one would break?
What happened to integrity?
It's still there it always was
For playing music just because
A million reasons why

foodbevlaw
foodbevlaw

The best bet is to get a Retail Radio or Muzak account, which has royalties included, and not screw with the 3 licensing companies. 

Even sillier is the rule that you have to pay royalties on background music from TV.  So if you have a commercial satellite account that covers royalties for the actual copyrighted shows (e.g. Monday Night Football), you still have to pay a music license for the bumper/commercials/theme music if you're over a certain square footage.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Yes, by all means, let's just stop playing their music in public.

I guess they showed us!

truthjones.com
truthjones.com

there needs to be an ascap and bmi pop music task force that forces clubs to pay 10k for pop licenses under jail. at least no more miley/biebs/brittney in the club. lemonade folks, lemonade

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

Biggest crock of crap I ever heard of. The music industry now wants to play "government".

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

...and the music industry continues to persecute those who promote their music because they can't sort out any other way to make money,

keithdylan
keithdylan

Just another example of a last gasp of a changing industry.  I have never understood this method when it come to restaurants.  No one goes there for the music.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Pay the fee get the window sticker and carry on .

veruszetec
veruszetec

Wonder if they were just playing the radio or had something like an ipod going. If it's radio, wouldn't ASCAP licensing already cover this? Seems like double-dipping to me.

Then again, it's not like the music industry isn't already known for being a bunch of sleazy s-bags.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

all credit to fat mike..smelly, erik, el hefe

Bobtex
Bobtex

@veruszetec ASCAP licenses one group of songs, and BMI licenses a completely different set of songs.  Songwriters are members of one group or the other.  (or SESAC, which is yet another licensing organization with its own group of music writers.  So, no double-dipping.

You need to distinguish between the music distribution business, the Sony's, EMI's, etc., and the writers and composers of music--the artists who write what the singing artists sing.  They are the victims when bars, restaurants, and other venues play the music that they write without paying for it.  When was the last time that Primo's gave away its food and liquor?  Primo's deserves to be compensated for what it serves, and the folks who write the music that Primo's serves for you to hear while you are consuming the food and liquor that makes them a profit also deserve to be compensated.

msbcez
msbcez

@Bobtex @veruszetec  god that's just fucking stupid, your logic is fucking stupid, its all overly legal bullshit.
You buy a fucking cd you should be able to play it wherever you want or an mp3 for that matter.  You should be able to listen to the fuckin radio in a restaurant, you expect them to write down the djs playlists and go figure out a bill ? that's moronic what a scam.  
So you can basically purchase music but not play it anywhere but your house? cant play it out in public anywhere im guessing, better keep those headphones down and not to loud huh. God forbid you use a portable radio with loud speakers, youd better be getting your wallet out to pay for all the songs you bought again.

A damn restaurant playing the radio or a playlist of purchased songs aint no fucking concert, its just ambient noise.  I think these copyright laws need a bit more clarification so scammer lawyers don't keep running around raping people!

Primos "SERVES" music rofl, well if they are they purchased it right? not that anyone goes there cause of the friggin music.  But they paid to play the music, as many times as they want right? The confusion here is defining a restaurant like its some sort of friggin concert venue because it plays music over speakers, like that's what brings in the crowds lol.  Yeah right stop flattering yourselves.   Its one thing to be compensated its another to just rape people.  Yall don't want to be paid everytime someone buys an album or song its not enough, you want to get paid everytime someone friggin hears it LMAO!
Im thinking the artists that support this mindset should just start being boycotted!Edit (in 5 minutes)

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

@Bobtex @veruszetec well the three examples used in this story, the songs were written by the person singing it. okay, one was written by the singers wife. but I doubt Anthony Keidis is cutting back on any limo rides.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@NotMe @paulpsycho78 this issue is a microcasm of larger issues in this country to me. 

This issue hurts clubs/bars in the pocketbook ---- therefore, less money to put on acts/bands for deposit, therefore less shows/ therefore less touring, infrequent touring/ pushing bands to call it quits. etc.

Apologies for cursing, I go out of my way to support the smaller artists I think are in it for the right reasons or atleast offering a good product at a fair price. 

NotMe
NotMe

@paulpsycho78 @NotMe It's clear from the comments to that article that the minimum only applies to physical checks. Direct deposited royalties are unaffected. Every organization that issues paper anything; bills, checks, statements, confirms, is motivating recipients to move to electronic delivery of some form. Not a scam.

No one said you stole anything. I just followed your logic to it's conclusion. Go ahead and play BMI artists in your joint and don't pay, if that's what you think is right. Just don't be upset when the lawyers come calling. Civil disobedience is rarely consequence free. If ASCAP and BMI are at the forefront of government/business tyranny to you, you've been missing quite a bit of the news the last few years. It's an odd issue to be agitated by unless you are directly involved, somehow.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@NotMe @paulpsycho78 

Not all laws are just, a true patriots duty is to stand up to unjust laws and tyranny from a government/business combo that runs this country. The line between Big business and government in this country is so blurred you can't tell where one begins and one ends.

NotMe
NotMe

@paulpsycho78 OK, you win. Steal whatever you want, if you think it's the right thing to do. Are ya happy now? And I believe there are co-writing credits on Ring of Fire, just btw. I don't screw anyone over. My conscience is just fine, thanks for making ridiculous assumptions. But stereotyping is a fun substitute for actual thinking.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@NotMe @paulpsycho78 june carter wrote ring of fire btw, and just because you screw people over for a living and it eats at your conscience dont project that on me.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@NotMe @paulpsycho78 the lawyers get what 40% of the cash they collect maybe..the company gets 50% and the songwriter gets 10% and your cool with this system?????  I am awake, and will not apologize for the greedheads and bastards.

NotMe
NotMe

@paulpsycho78

I know it's an inconvenient fact, but most of the songwriters represented are not, in fact, millionaires. Most of them are people you've never heard of or have long forgotten. Johnny Cash didn't write all of his songs. Do you know who did? Are you sure they are all "rich?" Do you think that because someone doesn't technically "need" the money, like the estate of Michael Jackson, or Madonna, that it's fine to make use of their creative work without compensation? Yours is the "Idiocracy" position, I'm afraid. 

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

@NotMe @msbcez a few pennies are being kept from millionaires and we are defending them as victims..my god this a country of sheep.  No wonder the Walking Dead is our favorite show as a nation and Duck Dynasty.  Zombies and folksy morons pretty much sums us up doesnt it?

NotMe
NotMe

@msbcez"The lawyers are just earning an extra buck through a loophole"

No. It's federal law, not a loophole. Do you think people should only have to comply with laws they like? Or laws that don't unduly burden them in their opinion? Primo isn't struggling to make it's way. It's an established, successful business. There isn't a restaurant or bar operator in the world who isn't aware that they must comply with the law by way of ASCAP and BMI. There are families who depend on that income, by the way. Not every licensor is rich rock star. For most, their creative work and their ownership rights in it are their entire livelihood/retirement savings all rolled up in one. Why would you want to deprive them of it just because Anthony Kiedas is rich?


NotMe
NotMe

@robkuelbs No. They are types of property. Various state and federal laws apply to when, how, and if property has been converted or taken. It's helpful to think of intellectual property as no different from the other types of property that most people own or have an interest in. 

msbcez
msbcez

@robkuelbs @NotMe @msbcez lol sure why not, you cant drive your car in public without paying ford for your cars PERFORMANCE on the road lmao. After all its out there for all the public to hear and see.
LOL I know hes reaching very far in his comparison right? but hell maybe hes a law student............

msbcez
msbcez

@dsmithy3211 @msbcez cause it was on the radio? LoL does it say they made a playlist? So should the bus driver be disallowed to play the radio as well if that's the case here? Id have to say this is probably one of those cases of ignorance that bites you in the ass once someone nails you with it, one pretty much has to hire an attorney to rape you, in order to keep the other attorneys from raping you! Fucked either way lol.  If they were going after a large non franchised chain, I might feel otherwise, but going after small business owners is pretty petty!  The vocabulary the attorneys use is hilarious, the way they term it as "PERFORMANCES of billy jean" talk about reaching, but hey that's what attorneys do best!

msbcez
msbcez

@NotMe  why would I feel differently? They don't go unpaid, they get paid in various other ways.  The lawyers are just earning an extra buck through a loophole.  Common sense tells most that a restaurant with just the radio or a playlist playing while people eat isn't the same thing, as what these laws refer too.
They literally have fake diners that just go eat at restaurants listening for music so they can slap them with bills, that's shady as fuck.  It would be one thing to warn them first so they actually had knowledge of the violation.  But naw they are just out seeking to pad their pockets. AND MOST OF THE MONEY,  goes to the attorneys! 
If I had intellectual property, I would be happy people paid to own it, and people paid to goto my concerts or whatever else I promoted.  And not nitpick small businesses that are just struggling to make their way! And if grandma leaves everything in her will to a nurse, then grandmas grandkids weren't really deserving were they! Obviously selfish little shits that didn't pay too much attention to grandma, and not really deserving of a free ticket to her pocketbook!

NotMe
NotMe

@msbcezYou might feel differently if you owned any intellectual property. I'd guess that if you did, and if some other person expropriated it without compensation, you'd just let it go, right? How about your car? How about your bank account? I imagine you'd be screaming for a lawyer then. Everyone hates lawyers until grandma leaves everything to her nurse in the will. 

dsmithy3211
dsmithy3211

@msbcez "A damn restaurant playing the radio or a playlist of purchased songs aint no fucking concert, its just ambient noise."

Then why doesn't Primo's play ambient noise or copyright-free music or, hell, nothing at all?  There's a reason they play Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash and not something else.

msbcez
msbcez

@@casiepierce @msbcez @Bobtex @veruszetec  he wasn't just stating the law, he agrees with it, and defended it. And the law and what is just, are very different most the time.  lol at changing the laws, unless your a politician, but even then you would have to be rich to go up against the music industry lol.  Laws are the way they are for a good reason,  Someone paid someone to keep them or make them that way!!!

casiepierce
casiepierce

@msbcez @Bobtex @veruszetec If you don't like it, then change the copyright law. Bobtex is stating the law. If you broadcast music in your business without paying for it, it is illegal.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...