MIDDIAN Starts 'Defense Fund' In Legal Dispute Over Band Name

MIDDIAN, the band featuring former YOB leader Mike Scheidt, has issued the following update:

"As many of you know, MIDDIAN received a cease-and-desist demand in October from MIDIAN of Milwaukee LLC. This demand required MIDDIAN to stop using our name completely, stop selling our album, and further demanded that all of our recorded CDs and albums be destroyed. MIDDIAN was served a cease-and-desist by a band that has never played outside of Wisconsin, hasn't put out a single record, or had a steady lineup in the last seven years. They hadn't even updated their website since year 2000 as of a few weeks ago. We played Milwaukee in May, and no one there even mentioned a local band MIDIAN of one 'd.' Nor did one of their 'fans' come to the show.

"Prior to this demand, we had never heard of them. Upon further research into the group, we discovered they had not used their name or trademark in years or even played outside of Wisconsin, ever. Our initial response was that our bands could peacefully co-exist. Especially since we learned that our usage combined with their non-usage entitled us to the name, rendering their trademark useless. But we felt it would be wasting everyone's time and money to send the issue to litigation. Besides, before the name MIDDIAN was chosen, a careful online search was done, proving that no other active unit had the same spelling.

"Instead of responding or agreeing to our offer of co-existence, they filed a federal suit against the three of us individually, our label (Metal Blade, who dropped us because of the suit), our booking agent Nanotear Booking, and an online merchandiser we had never even heard of until we saw the complaint.

"We sent them word that we would give the name up and even agreed to some other demands that seemed unreasonable, simply because we're not in a financial position to fight it. They refused to accept our settlement, demanding we pay them tens of thousands of dollars.

"By right of actual usage worlwide, the name MIDDIAN is ours. Regardless of that we have no choice but to FIGHT and defend ourselves in court. We intend to strip them of their trademark and deny them their unfair demands of money and of our music.

"We're humbly asking for YOUR help. Spread the word far and wide, to wherever you can. If you can afford it, please donate some money to our defense fund. We're going to have A LOT of legal fees and we're simply not in a position to pay for it by ourselves.

"We would like to thank everyone that has sent us messages. The underground metal community's love has simply been overwhelming.

"With your help and support, MIDDIAN will stand triumphant against this truly evil attack on our persons and families."

For more information, go to this location.

In 2005, Mike Scheidt, founding member of YOB, paved the way for his current project. Scheidt previously stated, "I decided to start a new band: very much in the vein of YOB, but more angry and mid-paced on average, but still with roots in slow doom and the cosmic vibe that was a part of YOB."

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