MONTREAL Metallica are taking legal action against independant Canadian rock band Unfaith over what they feel is unsanctioned usage of two chords the band has been using since 1982 : E and F.
"People are going to get on our case again for this, but try to see it from our point of view just once," stated Metallica's Lars Ulrich. "We're not saying we own those two chords, individually - that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music."
Metallica filed a trademark infringement suit against the indie group at the US district court for central California on Monday. According to the drummer, the continued use of the two chords causes "confusion, deception and mistake in the minds of the public".
Metallica's lawyer, Jill Pietrini, told us that the band decided to take legal action only after first sending a letter of complaint to the Canadian band's singer/songwriter, Erik Ashley.
"We sent a demand letter and haven't reached a resolution, so we had to sue," she said. "They continue to shamelessly feature the two chords on their website song samples and we just can't have that."
Ashley, in the meantime, is still shocked by the entire story, and hasn't yet decided how the band will respond.
"I thought it was a prank at first," he told us. "Now I'm not sure what to think."
Ulrich states that he's not trying to prevent Unfaith from using the two chords, only that he feels Metallica should be credited for them whenever used, and is calling for 50% of all revenue generated from any song using them.
"It's nothing personal against them," he added. "We intend to enforce our rights with any band intending to use Metallica-branded chords in the future."
This marks the first time anything of this kind has ever been tried in court, and it will be interesting to see how things develop.
Metallica's website has issued an official statement on the suit here.
Unfaith's official website hasn't officially responded at print time.
Follow up story at http://edition.cnn.com/2003/LAW/07/1...ica/index.html