A publican has learnt a hard lesson on copyright after an amusing Coyote Ugly dance went viral on social media.


It's probably happened to most publicans at some point in their career. Someone has turned the tunes up on the music player and they've had a boogie behind – or maybe even on top of – the bar.

And in this day and age of social media, there is a good chance someone will film it and put it online. It's all a bit of good fun, and what makes pubs adored up and down the country.


But one licensee in Plymouth, Barney Wills, got a shock when his rhythmic ode to Noughties flick Coyote Ugly and its signature theme tune 'Can't Fight the Moonlight' ended up with him getting a letter from American lawyers.

Watch the video here on the Plymouth Herald



Apparently dancing on the bar to the tune – as featured in the film - infringed the movie's copyright.

Barney put the vid on his bar's Facebook page to promote a theme night based on the film at Boomerang's sports bar.

Apparently there is a chain of Coyote Ugly bars in the USA which perform the act, and Barney was told to 'cease and desist' in running the event and promoting Coyote Ugly.

He told The Sun: "I was just having a laugh and trying to do something different for my customers."

Some of his locals told the New York law firm to 'pipe down' on the Facebook page.

But the law firm who sent the letter, did see the funny side. A spokesman told the Plymouth Herald: "While we are big fans of Mr. Wills and his comical viral video, Coyote Ugly must take any violation of its intellectual property seriously, and cannot countenance the use of its name in connection with the prospective event, which usurps its goodwill and will cause confusion among consumers as to the event's association with or endorsement by Coyote Ugly."

All joking aside though, this does raise a serious question for publicans – do check the rights for promoting movie and entertainment events when you run them, and if you need to purchase the copyright to use the brands.

As for Barney...well...he seems like the kind of publican that is game for a laugh and great at promoting his bar, so hopefully all the publicity will have people flocking to his venue.