Sweetwater Files Suit Against Hello Music

Sweetwater Sound Inc. has filed suit in the U.S. Federal District Court against Hello Music for allegedly copying verbatim a large number of images and copy blocks from Sweetwater's online pages. The company alleges that even the Sweetwater name appears, and the words "Call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer" are present on some of Hello Music's pages.

This suit follows Sweetwater's December 2014 allegations claiming 70 music retail websites had lifted anywhere from one to two images to hundreds of pages from Sweetwater.com.

"It's understandable that mistakes can be made and that there can be an unintentional use of copyrighted words and phrases, as well as the depiction of products that may or may not be 'fair use,'" Sweetwater said in a statement released to the press. "In the case of Hello Music, as with many others, copy and images have been deliberately cut and pasted from Sweetwater's website.

"Involving lawyers and legal action is always Sweetwater's last resort. In most cases, upon being informed of the infringement, offending websites quickly remove the material. In the case of Hello Music, this is not the first time that they have misappropriated Sweetwater materials, thus forcing Sweetwater to take legal action."

"Sweetwater truly regrets having to go as far as to file suit," said Chuck Surack, Sweetwater founder and president, "but we do so to defend our rights, but also in support of all online retailers who invest in unique, proprietary content. This is really about the integrity of the music retail business as a whole."