[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 
performed works.  

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 mailing list