According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit between Avenged Sevenfold and Warner Bros. will officially go to trial in December. The lawsuit was filed by Warner Bros. after Avenged Sevenfold tried to get out of their contract by using the “seven-year rule” under California Labor Code, which “allows parties to leave personal service contracts under certain circumstances after seven years have passed.”
The band originally owed the label another album, but after severing ties they ended up signing with Capitol under their own imprint to surprise release their new album “The Stage” on October 28, 2016 without any notice, aside from one single and a fake release date (December 9, 2016), that was rumored due to a plan crafted by Avenged Sevenfold and Chris Jericho (Fozzy). That date even caught the eye of Warner Bros., who tried to release a greatest hits album without the band’s knowledge a week prior.
If Avenged Sevenfold wins the case, it will be historically significant, due to the new precedent it can set in regards to labels and other artists. M. Shadows said the following:
“We’ve realized this battle is bigger than just us. We’re fighting so that all musical artists have the same rights everyone else has. It’s not like we wanted to be here, but we are down for the fight.”
If the band loses, The Hollywood Reporter says they may have to pay $5 to $10 million in damages. However, it will be hard for the label to make a case due to the surprise release of “The Stage” hurting sales as compared to previous albums. Avenged Sevenfold’s attorney Howard King says they “believe a jury will conclude they can’t prove any damages,” because “The Stage” “has been a commercial disappointment.” He went on to say “WBR would have lost money had that been delivered to them for marketing.”
A judge has allowed Warner Bros. to assert claims from worldwide affiliates to prove that they did lose profits. The Hollywood Reporter said it’s possible that Avenged Sevenfold costs could double or triple if their case isn’t made. The label also wants attorney fees, which have costed more than $1.5 million so far.
On another note, the article also mentions that industry analyst Bob Lefsetz will testify for Avenged Sevenfold at the trial. Lefsetz partly wants to express why it isn’t absolutely necessary for bands to use labels in the modern age.
You can find more info at The Hollywood Reporter.
[via The PRP]