Karaoke night sounded a sour note for a Syracuse, N.Y., bar that is being sued in federal court for using unlicensed songs. “This is unbelievable to me,” said Mark Bullis, one of the owners of the Bull & Bear Pub in Syracuse. “It almost feels like extortion. We’re being bullied into this, and it’s just ridiculous. It’s the little guy getting beat up by the big guy,” he said.

In a lawsuit filed last month in U.S. District Court, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers claimed that the bar violated copyright laws. ASCAP lawyer Michael Sciotti said the bar had plenty of warnings since it opened in 2002.