Anthrax Sued for MetalSucks-Inspired Hanukkah Sweater Design

  • Axl Rosenberg

So, um, this is pretty weird: I may have indirectly gotten Anthrax sued.

See, in 2013, I wrote a joke post about Anthrax releasing Hanukkah sweaters in response to the trend of metal bands making Christmas sweaters. That post included a “photo” of the sweater in question, which was really just some design for an ugly Hanukkah sweater I found online, Photoshopped to include the Anthrax logo.

Then, this past November, the band actually made a limited number of these sweaters. MetalSucks had no knowledge that they were going to do so before the announcement was made, but we were flattered nonetheless. I even got ahold of one of the sweaters for myself (warning: you will probably not look as handsome as I do should you procure a sweater of your very own).

axl 2015

Now, according to them Detroit Free Press, a man named Aaron Cummins, who claims he created the design on which the sweaters are based, is suing Anthrax, the website Rockabilia (who sold the sweater), and Global Merchandising Services (who manufactured the sweater) for copyright infringement. Cummins is seeking “at least” a million dollars, a figure I’m guessing is based on his assumption that the members of Anthrax are rich because he remembers seeing them on MTV with Public Enemy in 1994. I’m no lawyer, but let’s have some fun with math: they made 300 of these sweaters and sold them at about $30 a pop, which means, if they sold all three-hundred, Anthrax, Rockabilia, and Global Merchandising Services made a whopping $9,000, minus the cost of manufacturing the sweaters, split however they arranged for profits to be split beforehand. In other words: no one got a new Ferrari out of this deal. Even if you take into account Cummins’ legal fees and the fact that the plaintiff allegedly went “to great expense in developing the copyrighted design for the Sweater,” as his attorney claims, a million dollars seems like a lot to me.

(Cummins is also seeking an injunction to prevent the defendants from making more products based on his design, as well as all items used to manufacture the sweaters, “including rollers, plates and molds.”)

We’ll let you know how this suit turns out, especially if it turns out that Scott Ian and Charlie Benante want to ring my neck.

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