The legal world (as well as the online world) can be very tricky and some things may seem too odd to be taken seriously. but they can happen. It seems like Metallica, or at least their legal team, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Canadian Metallica tribute band Sandman, for using “official, stylized logos … on or to identify or promote live musical performances through Facebook and YouTube.”
When we saw the story around, we thought it was just one of those satire stories that pop-up every 10 min nowadays but there is a chance that this actually happened. The tribute band does exist and have been active for about 5 years and is comprised by members of Warmachine; The frontman of both bands, Joe Di Taranto was the one who shared the original picture that made it around the internet:
While this may seem like an overreaction on behalf of Metallica’s lawyers, trademark laws are strict and force the holders of a certain trademark to defend it or lose it. The band may not actually go after the Canadians for using the same font but they need to, at least, show they’re doing what they’re supposed to to keep the trademark for Metallica.
There are other things to consider regarding the legitimacy of that letter, like it’s content: That’s Sheppard Mullin’s logo and the return address is to its offices in Century City. The return email address is for a Jill Pietrini; she works at Sheppard Mullin’s Century City office and is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm. The letter was not just sent to the band but to the club in London, ON, Fritz Rays, where the band last performed on January 9th.
In any case, Metallica isn’t really suing anyone for using the word “Metallica” to promote their cover band or playing their music, but just the use of their font, which can be easily fixed so there’s no actual tyrannic intentions here. The only thing that this whole ordeal did was promote Di Taranto’s bands and that’s cool.