NMPA Files Lawsuit Against Wolfgang’s Vault for Massive Copyright Infringement 

May 27, 2015


For Immediate Release: May 27, 2015
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

Washington D.C. -- The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), on behalf of several music publisher members, today filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against “Wolfgang’s Vault,” which disseminates concert videos and audio recordings through multiple websites including ConcertVault.com, Daytrotter.com and MusicVault.com, as well as YouTube.

Wolfgang’s Vault calls itself the “largest collection of live audio and video recordings online” and the “world’s largest collection of live music,” and values just a portion of its music collection at over a $100 million, however much of its content was never properly licensed. This lawsuit not only intends to stop these entities use of unlicensed works, but also to pay back those whose material has been exploited.

The infringing websites offer tens of thousands of hours of concert footage as on-demand streams, digital downloads, CDs, DVDs and vinyl recordings which generate revenue for Wolfgang’s Vault through subscriptions and advertising. They attract approximately 50,000 visitors per day -- and all without properly paying the songwriters and music publishers whose creative content underlies the collection.

“The Wolfgang’s Vault websites have profited in large part because of the significant use of unlicensed music, primarily concert footage, available on their sites,” said David Israelite, President & CEO of NMPA. “Systematic copyright infringement cannot be a business model, and it is unfortunate that Wolfgang’s Vault chose not to compensate all of the creators responsible for their content.  Hopefully, this lawsuit will bring publishers and many iconic songwriters the revenue they deserve for the use of their music.”

The lawsuit is part of NMPA’s continuing effort to ensure songwriters and their music publishing partners are compensated fairly and that their rights are protected. Members of NMPA have settled claims of copyright infringement with Maker Studios and Fullscreen, both large Multi-Channel Networks on YouTube.  These settlements enabled music publishers and songwriters to be compensated for past copyright infringements and license works going forward.

About the NMPA:
Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at www.nmpa.org