Judgement Day: Will ‘Common Courtesy’ Be Released Next Week?
Today is the day. A Day To Remember and Victory Records are meeting in a courthouse in Illinois later today in anticipation of a long-awaited court ruling on whether or not the band owes the label two more albums by contractual obligation, or if the court is satisfied in the band’s belief that they have fulfilled their contractual responsibilities.
A Day To Remember is “set” to release Common Courtesy on October 8, which is just one week away. The band is attempting to self-release the album on their own free of Victory, and the label is attempting to block the band’s release out of contractual disagreement. If Common Courtesy does not come out on Tuesday, October 8, it is very unclear when the album will see a release date considering the already lengthy lifespan of the ongoing court case between two parties.
Below we have an interview with Victory Records’ lawyer via Alternative Press’ most recent magazine issue, the original statements both the band and label issued upon the public discovery of a lawsuit, our original rundown of the lawsuit, and much more. Stay up to date on everything, and let us know whether or not you think Common Courtesy will come out next week!
A Day To Remember’s original statement on lawsuit:
A Day To Remember would like to make it clear that they did not announce nor seek any attention regarding their ongoing suit with Victory Records. This information has been public record since May of 2011 and they have no intention of speaking publicly or disparagingly regarding their disagreement with Victory. A Day To Remember will continue to release music for their fans and are looking forward to touring in 2012.
Victory Records’ original statement on lawsuit:
Recent reports of claims filed by the Victory artist A Day to Remember (ADTR) in litigation presently pending in US District Court in the Northern District of Illinois (a case that was just transferred from Nashville upon Victory’s successful motion based upon improper venue) have misleadingly stated that the principal issue in the case concerns the payment of royalties. The lawsuit, filed shortly after the band hired new management, is really about the band’s refusal to fulfill their 5-album contractual commitment to Victory and their newfound desire to move to a major label. Recycled and often apocryphal stories of misguided and unsuccessful attempts by a few Victory bands to jump ship from the label that put them on the map have one common truthful thread; they always end badly for the band. In those cases, the bands eventually seek reconciliation and often ask to return to the Victory fold after having been disappointed by their post-Victory experiences. Victory is confident that this dispute will be resolved to the satisfaction of both the band and Victory, and that ADTR will continue to deliver great music to Victory in the coming years. Victory continues to honor its commitment to ADTR by placing its significant resources behind the band’s current album, What Separates Me From You, which continues to climb the charts and meet or exceed Victory’s expectations. The band, in the meantime, has enjoyed the benefits of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in record royalties generated from their album sales, which Victory accounts for in full compliance with its contract. Victory’s job remains the same- work hard, sell records and abide by our agreements.
Original POZ rundown of the lawsuit:
A Day To Remember are alleging:
A) that they have fulfilled their 5-album deal with Victory records (the band actually lists eight albums which they assert count toward fulfilling this obligation: What Separates Me From You, three editions of Homesick, two editions of For Those Who Have Heart, Old Record, and the Attack Of The Killer B-Sides EP).
B) that Victory filed copyright applications for the sound recordings of A Day To Remember’s albums that A Day To Remember do not believe were assigned to Victory.
C) that Victory are inappropriately withholding money owed to A Day To Remember from merch sales.
D) that Victory are additionally wrongly withholding >$100,000 from A Day To Remember as a “penalty” as part of a dispute over merch sales rights.
A Day To Remember are requesting from the Court:
A) a declaration that A Day To Remember have fulfilled their contract, and that A Day To Remember are now free to sign with other labels.
B) a declaration that A Day To Remember own all of their sound recording copyrights.
C) an accounting from Victory of any money which might be due to the band.
D) a reward of damages and attorneys fees from Victory.
Victory’s Response To A Day To Remember:
A) denies all of A Day To Remember’s allegations,
B) raises a number of technical defenses, and
C) asserts their own claim against A Day To Remember.
This claim that Victory is asserting against A Day To Remember alleges:
A) that A Day To Remember manufactured and sold their own merch via the internet in violation of their contract with Victory.
B) that A Day To Remember interfered with Victory’s ability to manufacture merch by refusing to approve new designs.
Victory are requesting from the Court:
A) dismissal of A Day To Remember’s complaint.
B) a reward of damages from A Day To Remember.
Victory also states in their release that they’ve won a motion to relocate the proceedings from Tennessee (where A Day To Remember filed the case) to Illinois, though there’s no copy of the motion or order within the document.
Both A Day To Remember and Victory are interpreting the Deal Memo (Ie, the contract between A Day To Remember and Victory) differently, and now both parties are asking the court to decide which side has it right.
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