A judge has ruled in favour of post-hardcore band A Day To Remember in their court case against their label, Victory Records. The news comes from a statement released by Victory’s lawyer, Robert S. Meloni, who described the ruling as having “silver linings” for Victory.
The case dates back to 2011, when A Day To Remember filed a lawsuit against their label, claiming they had fulfilled their contractual agreement with the company. In an interview with Alternative Press, frontman Jeremy McKinnon claimed the label was also withholding royalties from the band.
According to a statement from ADTR, a US district Court judge ruled in favour of the band in a recent legal battle between the two parties. Victory had attempted to file a negative injunction against the band, preventing them from self-releasing their latest album, Common Courtesy.
In the statement, the band said “Although our case is still ongoing, we are very pleased with the judge’s decision to allow us to release our next record. The only thing that has mattered to us while dealing with this lawsuit was getting new music to our fans.”
However, a statement released by Victory’s lawyer indicates that ADTR still have an uphill battle ahead of them, saying “in denying Victory’s motion, the court’s reasoning actually contained silver linings that significantly favoured Victory.”
The statement explained that the court agreed with Victory’s arguments presented in the case, including those regarding the “construction of the recording contract,” meaning ADTR likely still owe Victory Records two more albums worth of material.
Meloni described this as the “core issue” in the case, but elaborated on another issue which could prove a boon for the label, saying:
“The sole basis for the court’s denial of the injunction was that Victory would not suffer ‘irreparable harm’ that could not be compensated by money damages if the album were to be self released, in that it has ample evidence to prove its damages against the band.”
This means that the band will likely have to surrender profits made from Common Courtesy to their label, as well as additional “lost profits suffered by Victory based on the fact that Victory would undeniably do a far better job at marketing the album had Victory released it.”
Meloni also took care to dispel any talk regarding a “win” for ADTR, releasing a second statement in which he said “This ruling is strictly limited to Victory’s request for a negative injunction. In other words, it involves a small battle in a dispute that will only be resolved after a trial next year.”
Common Courtesy will be available exclusively in a digital format from the band’s official website from Tuesday, 8th October. Readers can check out the full statement from the band and both statements from Mr. Meloni below.
Watch: A Day To Remember announce Common Courtesy
Gallery: A Day To Remember – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney 13/07/2013
Victory Records Lawyer Statement
While Victory is disappointed with the ruling, and disagrees with the court’s conclusions, it comes as no surprise. Courts rarely grant negative injunctions of this nature, but the circumstances of this case presented a unique opportunity for such a ruling. Having said that, in denying Victory’s motion, the court’s reasoning actually contained silver linings that significantly favored Victory.
First, the court held that it supports Victory’s argument about the construction of the recording contract – that ADTR is still obligated to deliver two more albums to Victory — “at last equally, if not more so, than that offered by ADTR.” That is the core issue in this case and the only one that really matters in the end, so Victory is heartened that the court agreed with Victory’s position on that core issue.
Also, the sole basis for the court’s denial of the injunction was that Victory would not suffer “irreparable harm” that could not be compensated by money damages if the album were to be self released, in that it has ample evidence to prove its damages against the band (in the form of lost profits if ADTR does proceed to self release Common Courtesy).
That is, even if the band self releases it, Victory is likely to be awarded any profits the band makes on that album, plus additional lost profits suffered by Victory based on the fact that Victory would undeniably do a far better job at marketing the album had Victory released it, which is what Victory is known for and is the reason why ADTR signed with Victory in the first place.
In sum, it is a “successful” defeat in a way, and one which Victory welcomed because of the manner in which the Court rendered its opinion.
This case will proceed to trial, and Victory is looking forward to the opportunity to vindicate the baseless claims filed by ADTR.
– Robert S. Meloni
Victory Records Lawyer Second Statement
I’m reading some blogs that ADTR “won” their two year battle. That is not all all what happened today. This ruling is strictly limited to Victory’s request for a negative injunction. In other words, it involves a small battle in a dispute that will only be resolved after a trial next year. My point was the court’s reasoning today was favorable for Victory in that it forecasts what I believe will be a victory for Victory in the end (excuse the unintended pun).
– Robert S. Meloni
A Day To Remember Official Statement
A federal judge today ruled that A Day To Remember are free to release their new album Common Courtesy without Victory Records. In an Order issued earlier today, U.S District Court Judge John Z. Lee denied Victory Records’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction in which Victory had sought to block the band from releasing this new album without Victory’s involvement.
In a statement this evening the band offered: “In May of 2011 we joined the long list of bands that have filed suit against Victory Records. Although our case is still ongoing, we are very pleased with the judge’s decision to allow us to release our next record. The only thing that has mattered to us while dealing with this lawsuit was getting new music to our fans. We are finally going to do that on October 8th and we couldn’t be more excited!”
Common Courtesy is only available digitally at ADTR.com and will be released Tuesday, October 8th.
(Via Alternative Press)