Iced Earth criticise own label Century Media over decision to sue 7,500 fans for illegal downloading

German record company is taking strong action against fans who they say illegally downloaded Iced Earth's 'Dystophia'

Iced Earth have criticised their record label Century Media after they decided to take 7,500 fans to court over claims of illegal downloading.

The label, which is based in Germany and has a roster that features Architects, In Flames and Napalm Death, has filed the charges in New Jersey in the US. It has accused 4,327 people of illegally downloading Iced Earth’s album ‘Dystopia’ and 3,136 users of illegally obtaining Lacuna Coil’s ‘Dark Adrenaline’.

Speaking about the decision, Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer said: “It has come to my attention that Century Media is suing fans over illegal downloaded of, among others, our latest album. I felt it was important to clarify that we had no knowledge of this motion, and were, sadly, not asked permission”

He continued: “As much as we respect that the labels are having a harder time selling music, we feel this is a misguided effort. We want to make sure our fans know we would not have given consent if we had been asked.”

Schaffer also spoke about his own views in illegal downloading, adding: “We have been adapting to this model by embracing legal streaming services such as Spotify, and by bringing our music to places we have never played before, touring our proverbial asses off.”

In the lawsuit, All those accused are currently referred to as ‘John Doe’ in the court papers, but all their IP addresses are listed.

This means, if the court finds in Century Media’s favour, that their lawyers will instruct internet service providers to supply the personal information of each defendant.