Intellectual Property

Metallica blames 'overzealous attorney' for cease-and-desist letter


Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Yulia Grigoryeva /

Metallica is apologizing and blaming an “overzealous attorney” for a cease-and-desist letter sent to a tribute band.

The letter, sent on Sheppard Mullin letterhead, asked the Canadian tribute band Sandman to stop using the name Metallica and to stop using modified versions of the Metallica logo, Rolling Stone and the Guardian report.

The letter said Sandman’s use of modified versions of the Metallica trademark was likely to cause the public to think Metallica had authorized its use.

Metallica told Rolling Stone in a statement that it wasn’t aware of the cease-and-desist letter until it surfaced online. “It turns out that we have a very overzealous attorney who sent this letter without our knowledge,” the statement says.

“Sandman should file the letter in the trash,” the band said. “Keep doing what you’re doing. … We totally support you! And in the meantime, our attorney can be found at SFO catching a flight to go permanently ice fishing in Alaska.”

A spokesperson for Sheppard Mullin did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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