Decapitated's royalties row with Earache hots up


Decapitated have had to withdraw the limited edition t-shirts they hoped would raise money for a legal battle against former label Earache Records.

The Polish death metal outfit announced this week that they were launching legal proceedings against the UK-based label and asked fans to snap up the new merchandise to raise funds to pay for lawyers.

But the band now report that they’ve withdrawn the t-shirts from sale after Earache served them with a cease and desist letter, claiming they hold the rights to the images used.

In response to Decapitated announcing they were looking to sue, Earache dismissed the band’s claims as “garbage” and said the matter had already been ruled for in their favour by a court.

In a statement issued to TeamRock via their management firm 5BAM, Decapitated say: “The only thing that is garbage is the terrible failure by Earache to properly account, pay royalties and to have left us in a position where we need to pursue legal action in order to enforce our rights.

“In reply to Earache’s statement, there was no court case. What actually happened is that we served Earache with a formal request for payment of what we believed to be due. Hoping to settle the matter with Earache without going to court, we agreed to withdraw the demand.

“The court decided nothing and did not even consider the claims. Predictably, and despite Earache’s undertaking to do so within 28 days in September last year, we’re still waiting. So we are now raising funds to instruct a lawyer to pursue our claims.”

On the disputed merchandise, Decapitated continue: “You might have also noticed that we’ve withdrawn the limited edition t-shirt and tops that we planned to sell to help us raise funds for the case. This is because Earache immediately sent us a cease and desist letter to stop us using the artwork on them, despite us having the blessing and support of the original artist who created the Organic Hallucinosis album cover.

“If only they would act as quickly for serious matters. It’s disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising, that Earache would rather waste time and money being obstructive and uncooperative instead of simply paying their bands what is due.

“Fear not though, as we will be releasing limited edition tops with new artwork on our website.”

Decapitated have a number of tour dates still to come in 2016.

Decapitated remaining 2016 tour dates

Jul 02: Bogota Rock Al Parque, Colombia
Oct 14: Szczecin Dom Kultury Słowianin, Poland
Oct 22: Gdynia Klub Muzyczny UCHO, Poland
Oct 23: Poznan Blue Note, Poland
Nov 03: Wroclaw Klub Abili, Poland
Nov 06: Krakow CK Rotunda, Poland
Nov 20: Warsaw Klub Proxima, Poland

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.