By David McNally
Mark your calendars folks, Avenged Sevenfold is heading to court in December, and the verdict has the potential to change the entire music industry. The dispute with Warner Bros. began in January 2016, when the label sued the band over a potential album and the band cited the “Seven-Year Rule” to opt out of the deal.
Under California law, the “Seven-Year Rule” allow parties to leave contracts after seven years has passed. A7X terminated their contract in 2015, arguing that significant staff changes and a lack of promotion were grounds for the cancellation.
Following the bands dismissal of Warner Bros., the band released The Stage via Capital Records. However, Warner Bros. is arguing that the “Seven-Year Rule” does not apply because record deals are based on the number of albums released by the band, not the period of time.
This settlement will be the first time in the modern-music industry that the “Seven-Year Rule” will be tried in front of a jury. If the band wins, the industry’s landscape can change dramatically. A win would solicit bands the ability to escape long-term contracts by law.
“We’ve realized this battle is bigger than just us,” says A7X vocalist M. Shadows. “We’re fighting so that all musical artists have the same rights everyone else has. It’s not like we wanted to be here, but we are down for the fight.”
A7X stands to potentially lose $5-10 million that Warner Bros. claims they would have earned from The Stage.