Musician continues copyright crusade against churches

For the fourth time this year, New York resident John Emmanuelle has sued a church for using his music.

Florida-based Bear Lake United Methodist Church (BLUMC) has been sued for copyright infringement after allegedly using copyrighted music in an advertisement online.

Filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Emmanuelle’s case(pdf) accused BLUMC of featuring his copyrighted work on a YouTube video advertising the church.

He claimed the court has jurisdiction over BLUMC because the defendant, despite being based in Florida, regularly solicits business in this judicial district, and it “should have reasonably expected its acts to have consequences in New York state”.

Emmanuelle claimed that when served with a cease-and-desist letter, the church made the video private which “falls squarely under the reckless disregard or intentional standard for enhanced damages”.

The video has since been removed.

Emmanuelle added in the claim that he is the “sole beneficial owner of an original musical work” titled “Blurry Morning Glance”, which has US copyright registration number SR 677-965.

The claim is seeking compensatory and statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and a jury trial.

It isn’t the first time Emmanuelle has taken action against churches for copyright infringement for using the “Blurry Morning Glance” music.

In May, he sued the CfossPointe Church in the same court, before also suing the NorthRock Church and the Harvest Bible two weeks ago.