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Metallica license logo to tribute act for $1, waive fee

By | Published on Monday 18 January 2016


Last week we reported on a Metallica tribute band, Sandman, who had been hit with a cease and desist letter, ordering them to stop using the band’s name and logo to promote their entirely Metallica-related act. And, as you may remember, Metallica themselves were as surprised as anyone and told their doppelgangers to ignore the letter. But it’s not as easy as all that to ignore legal letters, is it? Lawyers have a tendency to get all lawyer-y. It’s alright though, Metallica have it covered.

To ensure that Metallica’s “very overzealous attorney” couldn’t come back and start kicking Sandman again, the band agreed to license their logo to the tribute band. Albeit for a fee. Oh, yeah, there’s always a catch, isn’t there? Though they only charged $1, and then Metallica picked up the tab for that themselves. Which is nice of them

“I just got off the phone with Metallica’s management and they and the band had no idea their lawyers sent us the papers”, Sandman guitarist Joe Di Taranto told the One On One With Mitch Lafon podcast. “Lars got wind of everything today and was completely pissed that they sent us the papers for something so stupid. They are really sorry about everything and want us to go back to using any logos that we want. They are even going to license us the logo for $1 – which they said we don’t even need to pay. So all in all they were really cool and wanted to make sure we know that they fully support us. Pretty crazy. All good though”.

So that all worked out well. And maybe there’s a new industry to be found in charging tribute acts small fees for the right to exist. I hope so. The lawyers seem to have so far lost out in this story. And that can’t be right.