Merch Traffic, the company that creates Metallica‘s touring merchandise, filed a lawsuit in the St. Louis federal court last week in hopes of stopping bootleg merch sales at their show in the city this weekend, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
If you’ve been to a concert before, there’s no doubt you’ve seen individuals standing in the parking lot of the venue afterwards selling knockoff versions of the band’s merch for around half the price. While these offers are likely very enticing for fans who don’t want to pay the often hefty prices of the items available inside the venue, it’s copyright infringement.
Thus, Merch Traffic, who also produces merch for many other large-scale artists, filed the suit on Oct. 26 ahead of the band’s shows on Nov. 3 and 5 in St. Louis, claiming copyright infringement by “various John and Jane Does seeking to sell merch with a counterfeit Metallica label.” They’ve essentially asked the judge to stop the sale of bootleg items by allowing law enforcement to confiscate such items, and destroy them.
“The infringing merchandise is of the same general appearance as plaintiff’s merchandise and is likely to cause confusion among prospective purchasers,” the suit argued. “Further, the infringing merchandise sold and to be sold by defendants is generally of inferior quality.”
The company filed similar suits in other states as well, including New Jersey, New York and Texas.
“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),” the suit continued.
After the band’s show in St. Louis this weekend, they have two left in 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Their first scheduled performances in 2024 will take place in May in Germany, and then the next North American leg kicks off in early August. See the rest of their upcoming dates on their website.
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Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita