A federal judge has ordered the former Director of Melbourne’s Illusion Bar & Nightclub, Peter Arhontogiorgis, to pay $114,113 to music copyright organisation APRA AMCOS as a result of a allegedly committing “a serious breach of copyright” in his former position.
In a statement, APRA AMCOS has hailed the decision as vindication of its members’ rights, with Mr Arhontogiorgis called out for “performing music in public without a licence”.
Judge Phillip Dowdy called Arhontogiorgis’ actions a “complete and deliberate disregard of [APRA AMCOS] rights”, and ordered him to pay up for unpaid licence fees, interest, damages and court costs.
A representative for APRA AMCOS told Music Feeds that Mr Arhontogiorgis “could have avoided almost three quarters of the total payment” by simply obtaining a licence and paying his licencing fees on time, with almost $75,000 of the total being made up of damages.
They confirmed that Mr Arhontogiorgis owed around $26,000 for three years worth of licencing fees for playing recorded music in his venue.
APRA AMCOS Head of Revenue Richard Mallett says, “The majority of hotels, bars and nightclubs not only recognise the importance of music to their business and its ability to attract and hold clientele, but understand they also have an obligation to ensure that songwriters are properly paid. Unfortunately for Mr Arhontogiorgis he has found out what happens when you trade on the commercial benefits of music without paying for it.”
APRA AMCOS is a collective representing Australian and New Zealand songwriters and musicians, and works to ensure that music creators are paid for their work.