In a move designed to discourage the unauthorized distribution of their albums as well as to bleed money from their audience, German based record label Century Media have brought suit against a Little Rock, Arkansas man for illegal singing Iced Earth songs in the shower. The man, identified as David Chaste, a mechanic and father of four young children, began singing the chorus from the Iced Earth song “Wolf” while taking a shower after work on August 5th, 2012. Chaste, who did not own the album the song was on, was overheard by his wife and, therefore, was distributing property that did not belong to him.
According to Cy Ganiff, the lawyer for the company, this sort of distribution of stolen property makes Chaste liable for nearly one million dollars in damages against the company. However, Century Media has offered to make the lawsuit go away if Chaste simply agrees to pay thousands of dollars in legal costs or name his next child Napalm Death.
According to Century Media spokesman James Heister, the record industry loses millions of dollars a year on people using their products without permission. “Think about how many people sing songs by Century Media bands on a regular basis. That is revenue the label is entitled to. After all, it is our property and they haven’t paid to use it,” said Heister, while kicking a puppy and burning a baby with a lit cigarette.
Last month, Century Media brought suit against Myrtle Washington, a 92-year-old woman who was overheard humming “The Star Spangled Banner” on line at a Kroger in New Port Richey, Florida. “The Star Spangled Banner” was, of course, first used on the Iced Earth album “The Glorious Burden”. The case was dismissed as by a local magistrate because it was considered frivolous, but that hasn’t stopped the label from looking for other creative new streams of revenue. Novel new methods of fundraising, like kidnapping and ransoming the children of those involved in illegal file sharing, are being strongly considered.
In spite of the unpopularity of the suit among many fans, some have rallied in support of the label’s right to use the American legal system as a giant extortion machine. Ralph Sycophant, a lifelong metalhead, self proclaimed rebel and founder of the internet protest group called Property Over People, believes that Century Media should continue with the lawsuit. “Companies have the right to do anything they want in order to make a profit. This is America. It’s in the Constitution,” said Sycophant.