Iron Maiden settles with e-commerce company over frozen PayPal account
By Chris Cooke | Published on Monday 23 August 2021
Iron Maiden have settled a lawsuit that was filed against them in Florida by an American e-commerce platform called Viral Style which accused one of the metal band’s companies – and a law firm they worked with – of grabbing $200,000 from its PayPal account without permission in an act that was “akin to a high-tech and sophisticated bank robbery”.
The dispute between Viral Style and Iron Maiden first began in the courts in Illinois, with the former getting caught up in a load of legal action pursued by the latter against a plethora of merch and clothing companies that were accused of infringing the band’s intellectual property.
Two of those accused infringers – Beatee and 89artshirt – used Viral Style’s platform to sell their infringing products. However, Viral Style got itself removed from the band’s litigation by successfully arguing that it was not actively involved in the production or distribution of any of its clients’ merchandise, and as a passive platform had safe harbour protection from any liability for any infringement.
However, Viral Style said in its lawsuit in February, despite being removed from all that legal action in Illinois, its PayPal account was still frozen by Maiden’s company and AMS Law, and – subsequently – $200,000 was taken from said account. That action seemingly occurred because it was claimed that Viral Style shared a PayPal account with its two clients, something the e-commerce firm strongly denied.
With all that PayPal shenanigans allegedly causing inconvenience, lost sales and reputation damage to Viral Style, it specifically sued Iron Maiden Holdings and AMS Law for fraud, tortious interference and civil conspiracy, seeking repayment of the $200,000 and damages.
In April, the band and the lawyers called for Viral Style’s litigation to be dismissed, claiming that the lawsuit was “riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions”. They also argued that the Florida courts didn’t have jurisdiction over the dispute, because Maiden themselves are based in the UK, and AMS Law is located in Illinois, where the original legal action against Beatee and 89artshirt was instigated.
Talks to settle the dispute had been ongoing in recent weeks and – while at one point it looked like those negotiations had faltered – on Friday the judge overseeing the lawsuit confirmed a settlement had now been reached.
A court filing stated: “Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone announces a settlement of this action. Under Local Rule 3.09(b), this action is dismissed subject to the right of any party within sixty days (1) to submit a stipulated form of final order or judgment or (2) to move to vacate the dismissal for good cause”.
Terms of the settlement are not known.