Copyright trolls sue fans of band without permission

Copyright is a big deal in every modern industry now, and people love to be able to make use of their copyrights to profit. What happens if they want to make use of these copyrights, but the people these copyrights actually relate to have no idea about it?

This is the reality of the situation faced by the American metal band All Shall Perish. The band's manager spoke to Torrent Freak, expressing their surprise at the situation and how they are "gutted" to hear the news. In the snappily-named U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the lawsuit against the band's fans was lodged on April 20th. The story is a well run one, and won't be winning any awards for its creativity. The lawsuit is targeted at 80 IP addresses harvested from BitTorrent for sharing the album "This is Where It Ends". The plaintiff is World Digital Rights, who seek the real-world identities of those who acquired the album.

If they get their way, the owners of those IP addresses will be hauled into court to stand trial. More likely though is an out-of-court settlement, in which things will all be smoothed over for some money. The band began to receive a backlash from its fans for handling copyright in such a heavy-handed manner. The band manager, Ryan Downey, insists they had no knowledge of the lawsuit being filed. He said the following about the situation:

The band wasn’t consulted whatsoever and none of us have ever heard of this company. I spoke to the US label manager and German label president who both are as confused as we are. We are digging deeper and looking into the legality of it all. We are thinking it’s perhaps a sublicensor or some digital aggregator or something?!

The lawsuit suggests that All Shall Perish's copyright holder, Nuclear Blast, signed the rights to the album's marketing over to World Digital Rights, on March 12, 2012. This passing over of the copyright resulted in World Digital Rights, who are based in Panama, holding the only copyright to the album. The company also received the right to sue, so it would seem they're definitely relishing that part of the agreement. The band's manager described the copyright claim as being "awful", and promised to keep fans updated on developments. The band themselves could have to intervene on the side of the fans, should World Digital Rights not withdraw the lawsuit upon the band's request.

There aren't many musicians who would oppose their own copyright holders, but All Shall Perish might be forced to do so due to their manager's remarks made to Torrent Freak. Furthermore, the band's songs are known for being politically based, so it would be immensely hypocritical for them to let the groups they oppose lead their musical direction. While the band themselves don't really have a say in copyright disputes like these normally, the reaction that came from their manager seems to suggest they do not approve of the situation. Speaking to a site such as Torrent Freak could imply that the band has less of a focus on cracking down on piracy than World Digital Rights, since the band attitude has not been one of outrage at piracy of their musical wares.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

New Diablo III TV ad shows off more cinematics

Next Story

New Zealand trials mobile NFC payments for catching the bus

20 Comments

drazgoosh said,
Well everything's been said: You must ask for permission from the band you're trying to use to sue others.

Not if the band signed away the digital rights already, as apparently is the case here.

drazgoosh said,
Well everything's been said: You must ask for permission from the band you're trying to use to sue others.

why? it says right there in the article that this new company is the sole owner of the copyright for that album and has the right to sue.

knighthawk said,

Not if the band signed away the digital rights already, as apparently is the case here.
The article says they "...signed the rights to the album's marketing over to World Digital Rights" which sounds to me like WDR has no business suing over copyright infringement since the people accused of pirating are pirating copyrighted music, not marketing. I think this company over-stepped their boundaries in a money grab hoping the band would believe WDR is doing the right thing and hoping they could follow the MPAA/RIAA examples of sue people for a zillion dollars then settle for a mere $10k. It's free money to them.

naap51stang said,
LOL...never heard of them, they sued what...9 people then?

So because you don't know of them then no one else does? That's some awesome logic right there.

Bands need to take back control of their own products and stop signing their life away to these greedy corporations. With the advent of the internet and other more direct ways of selling their music, why do they jump into bed with these money-grabbing evil corporations?

If the truth be told, these corporations make more money from the sale of each track than the band does, and that shouldn't be allowed to stand any longer.

TCLN Ryster said,
Bands need to take back control of their own products and stop signing their life away to these greedy corporations. With the advent of the internet and other more direct ways of selling their music, why do they jump into bed with these money-grabbing evil corporations?

If the truth be told, these corporations make more money from the sale of each track than the band does, and that shouldn't be allowed to stand any longer.

they attempted to with megaupload before Chris Dodd Bribed someone in the Government to shut that down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEdaYv6P-zs
I think thats a better example of what they are capable of. Lyrics and instrumentation are incredible. Sure, you may not like it, but to call it noise is pretty low. They obviously worked hard on it. Anyway, I think the saddest part of the article is that the band/label didn't even know who held the copyright for their album. Which goes to show that the current music business is just a huge mess of BS. I'd love to buy direct from the band or label, anything above that level has nearly no interaction in the creation of the music and should not get any money from its sale.

warwagon said,
Just listened to them on youtube via the link posted above. Their music is not music, it's ****ing noise.
Yeah, it's not really for me either.

Tim Dawg said,
Yeah, it's not really for me either.

really how anyone can call that crap singing is beyond me sounds more like someone suffering constipation trying to have a dump

Athlonite said,

really how anyone can call that crap singing is beyond me sounds more like someone suffering constipation trying to have a dump


We don't call it singing And fair enough you don't appreciate it but a lot of people do, I'm pretty sure a lot of people would bash you for your music tastes too, each to their own.

Tim Dawg said,
Yeah, it's not really for me either.

Wow! That's an understatement and a half!!

I love metal, but not that screamin' heeby jeeby s**t!!

Regardless of that fact, I hope the band stands up to this company and tells them to suck their b***s!!

warwagon said,
Just listened to them on youtube via the link posted above. Their music is not music, it's ****ing noise.

Actually this is death metal and it is most defiantly music, it might be loud and noisy [grandad], but it's still music. Noise music is a completely different genre. Check Merzbow on youtube.

Athlonite said,

really how anyone can call that crap singing is beyond me sounds more like someone suffering constipation trying to have a dump

I like how you try and trash the band by saying they can't sing. I mean do you actually think they are trying to sing in the traditional manor? Clearly they aren't.

Musical style and lyrical themes

The band's playing style consists of fast paced, heavily palm-muted power chords in the rhythm section, and higher octave runs in the lead section. The percussion section consists mainly of heavy double bass-pedaling, and often rapid sections of snare drum, until the song comes to the breakdown. The breakdowns add splash cymbal and china cymbal to the mix, with quick bursts on the double bass. The vocals of the band use the false chord-screaming technique, a few earlier All Shall Perish songs feature inhaled pig squeal vocals.

The band's lyrics consist of several different themes, mainly upon the foundation of politics, such as government control, fascism and corporate control. For example; the song "Black Gold Reign" from Awaken the Dreamers is in reference to current countries around the world adopting oil as a main source of currency. A majority of their songs are politically-based.

Commenting is disabled on this article.