Vail’s 8150 sued by rock stars
eagle county correspondent
VAIL ” Several famous musicians are suing a local business owner for copyright infringement for allowing cover bands to play their songs without permission.
Van Halen Music Company, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Patricia Bonham are all named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging that Vail business owner Steven Kovacik allowed public performances of their songs at 8150, the lawsuit says.
Kovacik, owner of 8150, said he would not comment on the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado, names Kovacik and a company named Big Snow Ball LLC as defendants.
The plaintiffs alleged 10 counts of copyright infringement because the defendants allowed bands to play 10 copyrighted songs on Jan. 15 and 16 at 8150, the lawsuit says. The plaintiffs are suing for as little as $750 per song and as much as $30,000 per song, plus attorneys’ fees, according to court documents.
Anthony Juarez, an event coordinator who represents the local band initfortim”who opened for female cover band Lez Zeppelin at 8150 on Jan. 15″said he was surprised by the lawsuit.
“Bands cover famous songs all the time,” Juarez said. “We cover songs sometimes.”
The lawsuit contends that the defendants allowed public performances of songs such as “Heartbreaker,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock and Roll” and “Black Dog,” written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and other members of Led Zeppelin; “Hot for Teacher,” written by Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth of Van Halen; and “You Shook Me all Night” written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young members of AC/DC.
The defendants failed to obtain a license agreement from the plaintiffs or the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, according to the lawsuit.
Conor Farley, a Denver attorney for the plaintiffs, did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday night.
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