On Tuesday, A Day To Remember will release its new album Common Courtesy. But when the album’s release date was announced in August, it wasn’t exactly a sure thing. That’s because the post hardcore group had yet to resolve its two year old lawsuit with Victory Records, who attempted to prevent the album’s release without their involvement. However, thanks to a court ruling made early Friday, Common Courtesy will see the light of day on Tuesday as planned … but the band isn’t out of the woods just yet.
A Day To Remember revealed that U.S District Court Judge John Z. Lee denied Victory Records’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction in which they attempted to block the album’s release. “In May of 2011 we joined the long list of bands that have filed suit against Victory Records,” the band stated in an official statement. “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!”
However, shortly after the news broke online, Victory’s lawyer Robert S. Meloni reached out to Absolute Punk claiming the judge’s ruling states that the band still contractually owes two albums. In fact, the band might even owe Victory monetary compensation from the self-titled album’s release. Here’s what Meloni had to say:
“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.
I’m reading some blogs that ADTR ‘won’ their two year battle. That is not at 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).”
Absolute Punk also has word that the album will only be made available digitally on the band’s website (not even iTunes or Amazon). The album will not even be made available at any of the band’s upcoming shows. So while the album will be released on Tuesday as planned, the lawsuit has helped make it a tad less convenient for the band to profit from it. And whether you’re taking Victory or the label’s side in the matter, it’s clear that this lawsuit battle far from over.