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Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rivers Cuomo Sue Wicker Park's Piece Pizzeria

(STMW) -- Piece, the Wicker Park pizzeria and brewery, is being sued by BMI, Sony, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, who all claim copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, names Piece and its owner, Bill Jacobs, as defendants.

The plaintiffs allege that Jacobs and Piece "publicly performed and/or caused to be publicly performed at the establishment the musical composition[s] … without a license or permission to do so. Thus, defendants have committed copyright infringement."

Three alleged performances — all of which were said to have occurred on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 — were singled out in the complaint; "Crazy" by Willie Nelson; "Give It Away" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers; and "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer.

The complaint did not specify the circumstances of the alleged performances and BMI's attorney referred questions to the company's press office, which did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.

On its website, Piece advertises live band karaoke that is held every Saturday at 11 p.m. Patrons are allowed to pick songs to sing that a guitarist, drummer and bass player provide the backing music to.

BMI alleges that, since May 2014, it has reached out to Jacobs and Piece more than 70 times by phone, in person, mail and email "to inform Defendants of their obligations under the Copyright Act to obtain a license for the public performance of musical compositions in the BMI repertoire."

BMI said it sent several Cease and Desist letters.

Jacobs did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.

The single-count suit seeks statutory damages and an order than would bar Piece "from infringing, in any manner, the copyrighted musical compositions licensed by BMI."

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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