Recording Industry Obtains Quarter Million Dollar Settlement For Illegal DJ Compilation

WASHINGTON, July 7, 1998 -- The Recording Industry Association of America obtained $250,000 cash in a settlement with The Pros Entertainment Services, Inc. -- a Philadelphia-based DJ company -- for claims of copyright infringement. The Pros illegally manufactured 500 sets of a nine-volume DJ compilation called DJ Tools. The settlement was reached before commencing a formal lawsuit. In addition, The Pros has agreed to the RIAA conducting unannounced, on site inspections of their inventory over the next three years. This settlement is part of an ongoing effort by the RIAA to address flagrant copyright infringement by certain DJs who create and manufacture multi-disk compilations of top hits without obtaining appropriate licenses from the copyright holders.

In January 1995 Dennis Tessler, president of The Pros Entertainment Services, placed the unlicensed 500 set order with a domestic CD plant that promptly notified the RIAA. The Pennsylvania State Police Department, with assistance from the RIAA, confiscated the CDs upon delivery from the plant.

"We are pleased to bring closure to this case and delighted by the outcome -- it's an appropriate settlement given the nature of the infringements, " said Steve D'Onofrio, RIAA executive vice president and director of anti-piracy. "DJs are not exempt from copyright laws. Each and every song on a compilation must be authorized."

DJ Tools contained 160 different copyrighted sound recordings by popular artists such as the Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Salt-N-Pepa, Whitney Houston and Eric Clapton.

Over the years, the RIAA has been addressing the issue of DJ piracy criminally. Earlier this year, the owner of a DJ service and supply company, was arrested for the third time. He was ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution, which the RIAA received yesterday. Thirty-one unauthorized sets of "For DJ's Only" compilations were confiscated. This case is part of the RIAA's continuing enforcement efforts focussing on the illicit manufacture and distribution throughout the DJ community and by businesses who allege to be authorized but are not.

The RIAA is a trade association whose members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. The RIAA investigates the illegal production and distribution of pirated sound recordings that cost the music industry approximately $300 million dollars a year domestically and $5 billion worldwide. Consumers and retailers can report suspected music piracy to the RIAA by dialing a toll-free hotline, 1-800-BAD-BEAT or sending email to badbeat@riaa.com.

RIAA Contact:
Lydia Pelliccia, 202.775.0101, lpelliccia@riaa.com

2016 Note: We have, at the request of the person involved, redacted the name of one of the lawsuit victims.