Monday, February 1, 2010

D-TRASH receives cease and desist notice from ex-SHIZIT member


The name of JP Anderson's solo project will be called THE NAMED. The DTRASH138 release will be called THE NAMED. The site has been updated from the previous temporary title we used for the last week.


D-TRASH records has voluntarily agreed to abide by the terms of a formal cease-and-desist letter in January 2010, received from Perkins Coie LLP ( an intellectual property lawyer working, on behalf of Brian Shrader, ex-member of THE SHIZIT.

In November 2009, D-TRASH assisted in the online release of a new recording by remaining member JP Anderson (who has and continues to enjoyed success with his solo RABBIT JUNK venture), a solo, self-titled THE SHIZIT record, that was distributed with a Creative Commons type approach, stating up-front that the album was specifically free. D-TRASH Records, while not publishing this content (content belongs the work of the artists, not D-TRASH and no publishing arrangement was signed or drawn up), did assist in distributing the album, which to date has received a surprisingly positive reaction from fans (1) as well as through online publications such as who described it as "an indelible sonic boom!" (2).

Mr. Shrader has attested through said cease-and-desist claim that:
<< "Despite Mr. Anderson's claim that neither he nor D-Trash Records are currently selling any of these works, Mr. Anderson (and, indirectly, D-Trash Records) are gaining promotional benefits from the unauthorized use of the "The Shizit" name and trademark. These actions are likely to create consumer confusion about the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of Mr. Anderson's and D-Trash Record's offerings under the mark -- the key element of trademark infringment. Moreover, this reputational free-riding is exactly the harm that trademark law is intended to prevent." (3) >>

We have been asked to, amongst other things. (3)
- Immediately cease and desist any further use of the name "The Shizit", including associated logo(s) and/or trademark(s) on any sound recording, website, publication or document [which featured unauthorized use of THE SHIZIT as pertaining to a band partnership signed between the two members]
- Immediately take down any publication (digital, print, recording, archive or otherwise) using the name "The Shizit", including associated logo(s) and/or trademark(s) other than prior works authorized by Mr. Shrader.
- Provide in writing a full list of websites, publications, reviewers or other recipients with whom you have shared work as "The Shizit" other than prior works authorized by Mr. Shrader.
- Request via the most timely method (phone, email, or written letter, the method with which you have previously established contact) that all listed websites, publications, reviewers or other recipients take down their publications referencing all of this material.
- Provide written evidence that such action has been taken by January 31, 2010.

D-TRASH Records has promptly responded --voluntarily-- (4) to all the requests made of Mr. Shrader's legal counsel and this order, despite protesting the legitimacy, legalities, and tangible material damages even 'suffered' by Mr. Shrader's 50% of THE SHIZIT. It is D-TRASH Record's contention, that through active work via distribution and voluntary tireless promotion of the 'digital hardcore/breakcore/etc' genre, and this included work specifically with 'THE SHIZIT' group, that the trademark would not enjoy the same 'brand currency' it does to date, if any could even be calculated. That is also not to mention the hundreds of dollars unrecouped that D-TRASH Records incurred mailing authorized THE SHIZIT recordings released through D-TRASH to magazines, radio, and other promotional outlets. It is also our belief, that said 'musical scene' would look unfavourably upon cease and desist letters, partnerships, nor ultimatums, in general anyway.

D-TRASH has an integral history together with THE SHIZIT. THE SHIZIT and label owner SCHIZOID (who did not pursue legal action against Torpex Games, over use of the SCHIZOID name for their recent 2008 "SCHIZOID" game), both made their debut appearances on an early recording back in 1998 entitled "White Noise Underground: Hardcore Elite." Long after THE SHIZIT's demise in 2002, SCHIZOID personally organized a post-humous tribute album (authorized by both members) to pay reverence to the debut duo, as well as contributing a remix to what was a remixed version of their "Remixed For The Revolution" disc. The entire D-TRASH roster at the time excitedly contributed scorching remixes that one of the band members (we cannot remember which) said "Were way better than the originals!" SCHIZOID appeared performing a duet with JP on the RABBIT JUNK songs "Demons". In 2008, SCHIZOID also organized a fan-spirited post-humous reissue of random live recordings and bonus remixes of the band, authorized at the time of release by JP Anderson. Many D-TRASH fans have wrote to us thanking them for putting them in touch with THE SHIZIT's music, as well as with Anderson's RABBIT JUNK project. Despite any fallout publicity D-TRASH Records may have received, the label still operates with little to no income, and struggles in a few-men outpost to try and continue to promote and proliferate this specific style of extreme electronic music, despite the fact that this genre of music has fallen well out of the commercial music industry's eye/interest, as well as the fact that label owner SCHIZOID is struggling with personal bankruptcy and unemployment. We'll have to see whether this year we can even afford to put out another hard copy release.

In a genre of DIY spirit and underground struggle to be heard, this type of legal threat against us is a new thing to us. We have never previously had a claim like this in our entire history, let alone from what we would have considered at one time "a member" of D-TRASH. We operate with a fairly 'rules-free' approach as we do not want to limit the artist nor make them feel they are hampered by 'the big bad record label'. It is of importance to us that we maintain the collectivist spirit, and be as transparent as possible with our artists. We encourage discussion and communication amongst our members, not to be giving each other formal legal notices. That is not what I have set up D-TRASH to be a part of, nor was it anything Brodie or Zak who started the label would have approved of in any form. It is not the wish of D-TRASH Records to violate any type of pre-existing agreement (however unsound or questionable) that may exist, nor the wish escalate any legalities, and our presumption was that this material was fine to proceed forth with. We have many artists we work with internationally and release approximately 10-20 recordings a year, all involving their own work with individual artists and it is impossible for us to know the in's and out's of each particular bands 'band partnership' agreements. JP is an active member of our scene and our peers and it was our understanding, that any new THE SHIZIT recordings, would be contractually permissable. It is not our desire to get into the middle of essential what is, if that, a disagreement, between band members. Neither D-TRASH, nor any of the other collectives that have distributed the title in question deserve to be punished for that. Despite that, again, we have immediately and willingly complied to these requests by Mr Shrader, for the sake that we approach this in a way that is responsive to Mr. Shrader's concerns as an 'artist':

** As part of those requests to be carried out, this includes contacting any websites, and/publications, and work to identify any unauthorized use of the THE SHIZIT trademark. ***

We are writing this to inform these parties, as well as our audience, who will want to know why DTRASH138 looks so different now, of what our legal obligations were as per this order, as per their specific request to communicate this necessary change. We are requesting your update (requested of us by Mr. Shrader's letter) of the following materials:

The recording released through the site and ALL associated facebook etc
shall hence be referred to as
The previous cover, on our site, has been replaced which the following image.

At this point, at least through the site, no further THE SHIZIT recordings will EVER be distributed. We will continue to work with specifically JP Anderson (who also has received these communications) as well as Glitch:Mode Recordings, in whatever respects he chooses to continue with his music, and believe he is amongst the hall of Digital Hardcore's warriors. We are happy to change the album title to this temporary name until Anderson has decided whatever his current moniker might be, and thus credit him, not Mr. Shrader, incorrectly for a hard work done on such an excellent album. At this point, we will review our catalogue and consider whether the historical benefits of continuing to host existing THE SHIZIT recordings and biographical information, which we have been told is still authorized, whether those are outweighed by the residual anger and burned bridges left with this scenario. For the time being, the altered recordings and downloads can be accessed below. (4)

Thank you for your time.

3) Brian Shrader / D-Trash Records / Improper use of "The Shizit" mark (72699-7001)

1 comment:

[tlr] said...

that shrader fellow is straight up shit-tarded. what a loser.