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One such act is American Metal band All Shall Perish, whose fans are being charged with the illegal downloading and sharing of the group’s music, despite protests from the band themselves.Wait… what?!According to TorrentFreak, All Shall Perish’s German label, Nuclear Blast, signed away the band’s copyrights to a Panama-based company, World Digital Rights, who are now seeking to sue up individual parties for damages owed for infringement. World Digital Rights filed for a lawsuit in April that targeted fans of the band and were recently granted permission by a judge to obtain the identities of eighty alleged file-sharers, with a view to seeking financial damages.The band’s manager, Ryan Downey, was hoping that the lawsuit against the file sharers would be withdrawn, but was shocked and angered to learn that Nuclear Blast had not only passed on the copyrights to World Digital Rights without his, or the band’s, knowledge or consent; but that they had persisted with the lawsuit regardless.
The lawsuit was not only brought without the band’s permission, but also without their knowledge. In the days after the suit was filed, the band’s manager Ryan Downey fought a battle to defend the band’s reputation. The heavy metal image and ethos of the band was hardly compatible with a sleazy bullying campaign.“The band wasn’t consulted whatsoever and none of us have ever heard of this company,” Downey told TorrentFreak.Downey (and band members through him) spoke with TorrentFreak on a number of occasions, desperately trying to get to the bottom of what was happening to them. But despite being given assurances by Nuclear Blast that the case would be brought to a halt, it was in fact pressing ahead, with a judge eventually giving World Digital Rights authorization to unmask the alleged infringers through their ISPs.Quickly, however, it became clear that something was amiss. After a Doe in the case hired a lawyer to defend against a demand for cash settlement, it was discovered that far from handling the case properly, World Digital Rights did not have the copyrights to the All Shall Perish album. In fact, none had been registered at the United States Copyright Office at all.TorrentFreak informed Downey that the case was pressing ahead and through his emails back we could sense his anger. He approached Nuclear Blast yet again – and then somehow the balance must have tipped. Shortly after a document was filed at the Florida District Court. It contained the following text:PLAINTIFF’S NOTICE OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICEPlaintiff, WORLD DIGITAL RIGHTS, by and through undersigned counsel, pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 41 (a)(1)(A)(i) files this Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and hereby dismisses the above style action against Defendants John Does 1-80.There were no explanations and no further embellishment, but it’s there in black and white – the case has been pulled voluntarily.This Is Where It Ends – hopefully at least…
Are bands really that naive?