Bruce Springsteen is showing a midtown bar who's The Boss.
The rocker slapped Connolly's Pub & Restaurant on W. 45th St. with a copyright infringement lawsuit Wednesday.
He claims the bar hosted a band on Aug. 9, 2008, that performed three of Springsteen's hits - and charged customers a cover fee.
Venues that host live performances are supposed to pay an annual licensing fee to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which doles out royalties.
Springsteen had no comment, but ASCAP officials said the point of the action was to protect all songwriters.
"It's not about him as a recording artist," said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP senior vice president for licensing. "In this instance, he's simply a songwriter with rights."
The band, which was not identified, allegedly played three songs that night: "Growin' Up," "Because the Night" and "You're No Good," which was written by Clinton Ballard Jr., a co-plaintiff in the case.
Connolly's, which did not return calls for comment, could face a $30,000 fine for skipping out on what would have been a $2,700 licensing fee, Candilora said.
He said the suit was aimed at leveling the playing field for other bars in New York that do pay the licensing fee, which is based on occupancy.
"We had been after them [Connolly's] for complying for over two years, so it's not so much about who or where," Candilora said.
"Why should those places that are complying with the law be at a competitive disadvantage?" he said.
Joe Cumia plays guitar in the band 2U, a U2 tribute band that has rocked out at Connolly's many times.
"I think any venue that makes money from live music should be paying the artist in one way or another," he said.
But he said he also thinks a lawsuit might not be the best way to make that happen.
"It's absurd for him [Springsteen] to go after a little pub when he's selling records and making dough," Cumia said.
"Bruce doesn't need the $8 a month that he'd get from this band playing at Connolly's."Source