[Dixielandjazz] Wolfy’s sued by ASCAP
BillSargentDrums at aol.com
BillSargentDrums at aol.com
Wed Jan 26 17:59:17 PST 2005
Wolfy’s sued by ASCAP By Chris Lewis, clewis at nashvillecitypaper.com
January 25, 2005
Wolfy’s, a lower Broadway restaurant and bar, was sued by the performing
rights organization ASCAP Monday for failing to pay royalties for music played
in the nightclub over the past several years.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers filed the lawsuit
in U.S. District Court in Nashville after attempting for several years to
collect payment from Wolfy’s, said Vincent Candilora, ASCAP’s Nashville-based
senior vice president of licensing.
“We went in there literally 10, 15 times, and they keep just kind of
thumbing their nose at us. This is what will happen eventually,” Candilora said.
Wolfy’s owners, Robert Wolf and Grey Wolf Productions, could not be reached
for comment Monday. Several phone calls placed to the establishment went
The suit was one of 24 copyright infringement actions ASCAP filed Monday
against nightclubs, bars and restaurants in 15 states and the District of
The suits allege that the establishments have publicly performed the
copyrighted musical works of ASCAP’s member songwriters, composers and music
publishers without permission.
ASCAP collects royalties on 8 million copyrighted songs and compositions on
behalf of its more than 200,000 members.
Candilora said ASCAP filed the suits simultaneously to garner widespread
attention of the seriousness of businesses honoring licensing agreements.
ASCAP is one of three U.S. performing rights organizations (PROs), including
BMI and SESAC, that are entitled by law to collect royalties on publicly
Because of the complications in tracking each song played in each
establishment, the PROs issue blanket licenses to businesses based on factors such as
the size of the venue and whether they use live or recorded music.
The licenses, which club owners typically sign with each PRO, entitle them
to unlimited use of the PRO’s entire catalog. Candilora said the typical
license amounts to about $2 per day.
Candilora said ASCAP first signed a license agreement with Wolfy’s in 1995,
but cancelled the license in 1999 for non-payment of fees.
He said ASCAP officials made several attempts to collect the money and
re-establish the license. Candilora said the lawsuit was the last resort.
“Wolfy’s [is] right here in Nashville and a lot of our writers perform
there. And they do some showcases,” Candilora said. “So we tried to work with
them and tried to explain to them that this is a very high-profile writer
community. But when they continue to say, ‘Hey, sue me,’ what are you going to do?
Candilora said he couldn’t think of any other Nashville establishment that
ASCAP has sued in eight or nine years.
“I would say it is very rare that we have to resort to any type of legal
action in Nashville, because they’re probably more aware and educated than users
in other cities, just because of the profile of Music City, U.S.A.,” he said.
ASCAP claims that during 2004 it achieved a 100 percent success rate with
its copyright infringement litigation, either through settling the cases or
winning favorable judgments in court.
Read this article online:
Copyright 2000-2004, The City Paper LLC.
More information about the Dixielandjazz