The BoCo says goodbye...again
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 23:08
After five years in downtown Hattiesburg, The Bottling Company closed its doors this summer.
Mitch Brown, who co-owned the business with his brother, Ken Brown, told the Hattiesburg American the decision was difficult but made as a family.
The venue’s last night of operation was Aug. 4, just more than a week after 11 music publishers and Broadcast Music, Inc. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the venue and its owners.
The suit was filed on July 27, claiming that 12 individual songs were played without license or permission at The BoCo. The songs included hits by The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffett and other artists.
“It seems like an unusual situation to me,” Paul Linden, a professor in the entertainment industry department at The University of Southern Mississippi, said. “All live music venues must have a public performance license to play music, unless they own everything through originals. This is simply a case of a venue that did not pay a performance rights organization their annual blanket license fees, which seems a little silly.”
Linden said PROs provide broadcasters and venues with the rights, and that is one of the major ways owners of songs get paid for their “intellectual property.”
Linden added the songs named in the suit could have been transmitted by a recording or by a cover band performing at the venue, but a license must be paid for either way.
The announcement of the closure came about via the business’s Facebook page immediately after a party that took place the previous day saying, “Our doors are closed for good.”
The closure of the business came as a shock to the Hattiesburg community. Josh Byrd, a junior graphic design major said, “I had no clue,” University of Southern Mississippi junior graphic design major Josh Byrd said. “I’ve been to a few shows there, and it was a cool venue. Hopefully whatever opens up in its place will bring as much to downtown as The BoCo did.”
The Bottling Company originally opened its doors in 2006 at its downtown location, 126 Mobile St. After a yearlong stint as The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint, the business returned to its original name in October 2011.