Battle of the Bands

Garage bands of the world, beware: the chords of E and F could
soon cost you millions in licensing fees. According to an
MTV.com report, Metallica is suing Canadian indie rock
band Unfaith for trademark infringement due to their ‘unsanctioned
usage’ of the chords E and F. ‘We’re not saying we own
those two chords, individually,’ Metallica’s Lars Ulrich assures.
‘We’re just saying that in that specific order, people have grown
to associate E, F with our music.’ The band is not requesting a
cease and desist — merely to receive credit when the chords
appear, and 50 percent of all revenues from any songs utilizing
them. Ulrich declared his intention ‘to enforce our rights with any
band intending to use Metallica-branded chords in the future.’

Okay, okay, so none of this really happened. But we had you
there for a minute, right? This clever hoax, engineered by Montreal
singer/songwriter Erik Ashley, had us believing, too, briefly. And
we weren’t the only ones. In an explanation on the Unfaith website,
Ashley says that within 24 hours after the hoax went live on July
15, the story was reported as fact by such venerable news outlets
as CNN, MSNBC, and Rolling Stone. Even ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel mentioned
it on his late night TV talk show. Perhaps most bizarre, says
Ashley, was the way the story took on a life of its own. ‘Even as
we exposed the prank on our own website, fans continued to write in
and argue that the story had to be real, because they heard it on
the radio and saw it on TV.’

We’re sorry to burst anyone’s bubble. We wanted to believe it
was true, too. We have heard, however, that the news of the
Metallica suit prompted lawyers for the Children’s Television
Workshop — owner of the Sesame Street franchise — to issue a
statement vowing strict enforcement of its copyright on the letters
L and M and the number 12.
Erin Ferdinand and Leif Utne

Go there>>
Metallica
Sue Canadian Band over E, F Chords

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