All Shall Perish, a blistering political deathcore group from California, burst onto the metal scene with their 2003 record, "Hate, Malice, Revenge." Today, those are exactly the emotions driving a distributor to seek sweet vengeance against dozens of fans who illegally downloaded tracks from their newest album.
A lawsuit filed last week in Miami's federal courthouse seeks $150,000 in damages, as well as court costs, from 100 anonymous music fans, who frankly should have been forewarned by the names of the songs they were stealing: "My Retaliation," "This Is Where it Ends," and "The End Will Haunt Us Both."
All Shall Perish, which is signed to a German label called Nuclear Blast, released its new album, also called This Is Where It Ends, last July.
According to the lawsuit, filed by World Digital, a Panamanian company that licenses the band's songs, the illegal downloads came mostly through programs called uTorrent and Vuze.
The filing also sheds light on how using a torrent can leave a digital trail right back to you.
A BitTorrent client takes new files -- like the band's songs -- and divides it into "pieces" which are assigned random and unique identifiers known as "hashes." The hash identified then serves as an "electronic" fingerprint which identifies the "source and origin of the piece," records show.
In simple terms: busted!
"Each defendant participated in a swarm by directly interacting and communicating with other members of the swarm through digital handshakes," according to the complaint.
It's not clear exactly how many of the music downloaders live in Miami, but at least one downloaded a song from Florida Atlantic University.
Omar Ortega, World Digital's attorney, could not be reached for comment. This anti-free downloading suit isn't unique in the metal world. Metallica famously helped kill Napster back in 2000 by headlining a lawsuit against the site.
We'll leave downloaders with what should have been a cautionary tale from how All Shall Perish would view song theft: