Trent Reznor's Downward Spiral Into Litigation

Originally published in Launch.com on August 21, 1997

Musician Mark Nicholas Onofrio filed a lawsuit August 18th in Los Angeles Central District Court against Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, TVT Records, nothing Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. and Leaving Hope/ TVT Music Publishing, claiming that NIN failed to credit him as the author and performer of six NIN songs. According to Onofrio, he allegedly submitted his copyrighted album Elephant Man to Reznor in 1993, after he and Reznor met in an online chat room and began corresponding via email; he now says that six NIN songs ("Closer," "Mr. Self- Destruct," "March Of Pigs," "Hurt" and "Downward Spiral"--all of which are on NIN's breakthrough LP The Downward Spiral--and "Burn," from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack) sound "strikingly similar" to four of his own. Onofrio is suing for copyright infringement and unfair competition, and is demanding a jury trial.

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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