Metallica go to battle with merch bootleggers ahead of St. Louis, MO shows
As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, In anticipation of Metallica's upcoming concert in St. Louis (November 3rd and 5th), the company responsible for printing the band's tour merchandise is seeking legal action to authorize the confiscation and destruction of counterfeit items.
Merch Traffic, filed a lawsuit in St. Louis federal court against various John and Jane Does who are allegedly attempting to sell counterfeit Metallica-labeled merchandise.
This legal action mirrors similar litigation undertaken by the company in other states, including New York, Texas, and New Jersey, with the objective of curbing the activities of bootleggers.
The lawsuit contends:
The infringing merchandise is of the same general appearance as plaintiff's merchandise and is likely to cause confusion among prospective purchasers. Further, the infringing merchandise sold and to be sold by defendants is generally of inferior quality.
Metallica, an iconic rock band known for hits like "Enter Sandman," "Nothing Else Matters," and "Seek and Destroy," is scheduled to perform on November 3 and 5 at the Dome at the America's Center as part of their "M72 World Tour."
The band previously engaged in a legal battle against bootlegging in 2000 when they sued online file-sharing company Napster for trademark infringement and enabling free downloads of their music. Although the suit was settled the following year, Napster eventually filed for bankruptcy.
For their current tour, Metallica granted Merch Traffic exclusive rights to print their official tour merchandise, with the band receiving royalties in return. However, bootleggers have emerged outside venues during the latest tour, selling unauthorized shirts, hats, and jerseys.
Merch Traffic is now seeking a court order to cease the sale of bootleg merchandise and empower local and federal law enforcement to seize and destroy counterfeit items. Additionally, they are requesting unspecified damages, stating in the suit:
Upon information and belief, (bootleggers) will continue to engage in such infringing activities in this state and elsewhere... and are likely to continue such activities throughout the tour, to the great injury of plaintiff and (Metallica).