Metallica Merch Company Files Lawsuit to Stop Sale of Bootleg T-Shirts at Band’s Concerts

Metallica are set to wrap up the 2023 North American leg of their highly successful “M72 World Tour” with upcoming stops in St. Louis and Detroit. Ahead of the St. Louis gigs on November 3rd and 5th, the band’s official merchandise company Merch Traffic has filed a lawsuit to prevent the sale of bootleg T-shirts and other unauthorized items around the stadium.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the trademark-infringement suit was filed on Thursday (October 26th) in St. Louis federal court against various John and Jane Does seeking to sell counterfeit Metallica items.

The newspaper also reports that Merch Traffic took similar action in other states, including New York, Texas, and New Jersey, during previous stops on the tour.

Per the lawsuit, Merch Traffic claims, “The infringing merchandise is of the same general appearance as plaintiff’s merchandise and is likely to cause confusion among prospective purchasers. Further, the infringing merchandise sold and to be sold by defendants is generally of inferior quality.”

By filing the suit preemptively, Merch Traffic is hoping that a judge will allow federal agents to seize and destroy any bootleg merchandise that is sold during the shows.

The lawsuit continues, “Upon information and belief, (bootleggers) will continue to engage in such infringing activities in this state and elsewhere … and are likely to continue such activities throughout the tour, to the great injury of plaintiff and (Metallica).”

Metallica famously sued file-sharing company Napster in 2000 for copyright infringement. Recently, drummer Lars Ulrich spoke of the changed landscape in the music industry since then: “Big picture, and I know this may sound like a little bit of a cop-out, I’m just happy that fucking anybody cares about what we’re doing and shows up to see us play and still stream or buy or steal our records or whatever.”

As mentioned, Metallica’s last two “no-repeat” weekends of 2023 take place in St. Louis on November 3rd and 5th, and Detroit on November 10th and 12th. The band will embark on additional legs of the “M72 World Tour” in 2024, including another North American outing. Tickets for their upcoming shows are available here.

Photo Gallery – Metallica Kick Off North American “M72 Tour” in East Rutherford, New Jersey (click to expand and scroll through):