Universal drops suit against ABBAMAIL

Some of you may recall that the ABBA fan site ABBAMAIL was being sued by Universal Music for selling unauthorized boots through their site. After much rallying from ABBA fans, Universal has decided merely to keep a close eye on their activities rather than going through with a law suit. Read all about it here:

We have received written advice from MIPI that Universal Music do not plan any further action against ABBAMAIL.

Our lawyers rang to advise us that the matter is now closed. Universal Music & MIPI have backed down on their original demands including wanting names, addresses etc. of fans who have purchased goods from ABBAMAIL’s webshop. They have also backed down from their demand to be given 20-30 year old audio and video cassettes from Graeme Read’s personal ABBA collection.

Above is a portion of the letter containing the relevant advice that Universal Music are not taking any further action. Now that we have this in writing and have published it on our website, we can begin to move on from this horrible and unnecessary situation and look towards the future for ABBAMAIL.

Like all letters received from MIPI, the language is tough but this is, in fact, a significant backdown from both Universal Music and MIPI. It only seems to have come about since the protest campaign that flooded Universal & Mono Music with emails from fans around the world angry about the situation. The feature article on the Sydney Morning Herald website, Australia’s most reputable newspaper, also seems to have had an impact.

ABBAMAIL did supply MIPI with raw sales numbers over the last few years and no doubt despite the aggressive wording of their letter, both Universal Music and MIPI realised that they were – after all – dealing with a fan organisation selling to hard core fans – not a major international piracy ring.

As the sitemasters note, however, the threat of suit was not without personal and financial cost to those involved.

I’m glad to see this, but stand by my position that it’s one thing for fans to distribute unreleased stuff amongst themselves for free and quite another to sell it (they have now pulled almost all of the boots they were selling). If you need money to fund your site, ask for donations like Murmurs.com does.

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