Just this week, metal giants Nuclear Blast announced that they were withdrawing their recent lawsuit aimed at those illegally downloading the All Shall Perish album “This is Where it Ends.” The well-known label has released a statement regarding the case:
“Nuclear Blast and SKP Enforcement UG, who are experienced in tracking illegal downloads and the file sharing of music, recently decided to cooperate with World Digital Rights to fight against file-sharing piracy in the USA. In the United States, the providers are obligated by law to hand out the IP addresses of the computers from which the downloads / file shares were generated. By collecting this information, these companies are also acting in the interest of our artists, which is essential to the future of both our bands and the label.
“To be able to recoup the investments both parties have made is crucial in order to produce new music and to survive in this business. Nuclear Blast, SKP Enforcement, and World Digital Rights want people to be aware that the peer-to-peer file sharing is illegal and hurts the bands and record companies they love.
“That said, Nuclear Blast also respects bands such as ALL SHALL PERISH that do not wish to pursue file sharers. ALL SHALL PERISH was not consulted about this course of action and did not wish to participate in it whatsoever. When they learned about it, they immediately asked us to cease all legal action against their fans, file traders or otherwise, as soon as they learned this action had been taken in their name. Therefore, Nuclear Blast and World Digital Rights decided recently to stop legal actions against the file sharing with songs from the band ALL SHALL PERISH.
“In all other cases, the parties involved pursue those violating copyright laws to avoid the financial loss they incur and to protect the value of their copyrights.
“Nuclear Blast counts on the loyal fans which have been supporting the label and our bands for over 20 years now. Every sale helps support metal and the people that work hard to bring metal to the masses. For those that continue to buy music legally, that is something every loyal fan can be proud of.”
The lawsuit, filed on April 20th in the US District Court For The Middle District of Florida, sought the identity of roughly 80 IP addresses in the hopes to personally identify the file-sharers, in addition to $150,000 in damages. According to TorrentFreak, All Shall Perish’s manager Ryan Downey fought hard to have the lawsuit withdrawn, claiming they were not only unaware of the lawsuit, they were never consulted about it.
Lawsuits aimed at those involved in illegally sharing files via the internet in certainly not a new phenomenon and was originally brought into view in 2000 when Metallica filed a lawsuit against the file-sharing program Napster. As the story goes, Metallica first became aware of Napster when their song “I Disappear” started to be played on radio stations around the United States before the song had even been released. Following the lawsuit by Metallica, rap mogul Dr. Dre also joined in the anti-Napster crusade by filing a separate lawsuit. Both were later settled out of court.
One of the cases brought to court in recent years that helped to limit the scope of such proceedings is the case of Elektra Records v. Barker. In this case, the defendant Tenise Barker argued that her files being merely made available didn’t constitute copyright infringement. In March 2008, the judge overseeing the case ruled ruled in her favor, greatly limiting the scope of copyright infringement and hindering such lawsuits.