By their very nature, tribute bands come as close as possible to the sound and visual vibe of the artists they're paying tribute to, but there's a limit to how far you can go before you're violating someone's copyright. Just ask the members of Metallica.

Aux reports that the Ontario-based tribute band Sandman has been hit with a cease-and-desist order from Metallica's lawyers, alleging improper use of their "official, stylized logos" in order to promote Sandman live appearances — one of which apparently happened to be where the band was when served with legal papers.

Metallica's been the butt of countless lawsuit jokes since their involvement in the Napster fiasco, but as Metal Injection notes, they're really just doing what any copyright holder has to do in order to maintain control of their intellectual property — vigorously pursuing action against third parties who infringe upon it.

After being served with the letter, which reportedly ran to 41 pages, the members of Sandman joined a list of Metallica legal targets that includes lingerie kingpin Victoria's Secret and other major clothing and cosmetics companies. As Aux's report points out, this isn't even the first time they've had to reach north of the border to issue a smackdown: In 2003, they went after an Edmonton-based punk band that actually had the frayed ends of sanity to name themselves Metallica.

The members of Sandman seem to be wisely refraining from public comment, but to keep up with their side of the story — and to get a look at the logo that incurred Metallica's wrath — visit the band on Facebook.

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