After decades of letting fans record their concerts for free, the Grateful Dead is now facing a patent infringement suit for sharing music on the band’s dead.net website.
And the irony has long-time Dead Heads in the Bay Area speculating that things are finally shaking on Shakedown Street.
“What has the world come to that the Grateful Dead is being sued for selling music when they’re famous for giving away thousands and thousands of their own concert recordings?” said patent litigator and Dead Head Edward Reines, a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
On Tuesday, Sharing Sound sued Grateful Dead Productions, along with Live Nation Entertainment Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Inc. and others in Delaware federal court, saying they had infringed a patent covering the online distribution of music and other media.
The Longview, Texas-based company launched a similar suit against Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Netflix Inc. in May, alleging that they, too, had infringed the patent called “Distribution of musical products by a website vendor over the Internet.”
Sharing Sound is seeking a permanent injunction, damages and attorneys fees.