Metal Utopia is releasing this statement to address the recent controversy over Saor’s newest album being supposedly leaked by someone from our website. Our intention is to clear up the name of the website itself and anyone who is involved with it, including the main-man of the site Hannes Wiedenhofer, whose name has been circling around social networks to be associated with the whole debacle.
Hannes received the email from Sureshotworx on January 4th, which contained promo links for Saor’s “Forgotten Paths”. On January 20th he forwarded this email to a staff member who downloaded MP3 files of the album and stored them on his computer. Today, on February 5th, Hannes informed us that the recently leaked files were traced by watermark back to Metal Utopia, and that he and the website were being called out by the band and metal community on social networks as leakers.
After performing internal investigation, we conclude the following – we did not in any way share the files provided by SureShotWorx, we have not uploaded them anywhere, we did not share them with any friends, we did not copy them to physical media. We have not, in any way that we are aware of, exposed them to the internet, and we are entirely convinced that no member of our staff did. We have not done it in this case nor in any previous case when we handled promo files. We are fully aware of the precarious status of being a metal musician and how file sharing, especially early leaks, endanger their livelihood and their art. Promoting or enabling such activity is an insult to metal musicians and the metal community. We are also fully aware that sharing promos incurs penalties, and that every promo we receive includes a warning prohibiting such activities. Having said that, Metal Utopia would never, ever purposely share any promotional material we receive. We know this harms the people who have entrusted us with their art and everyone involved in bringing it to the public. We also know this would harm everyone involved with Metal Utopia, including the site itself, and we would never, ever purposefully endanger the people and the project that is our small, but passionate, website.
If the information provided by SureShotWorx is correct and if the files leaked were somehow the same ones we had access to and downloaded, then we firmly claim that we were not involved nor aware of this. To the best of our knowledge we have made sure not to make the files available to anyone.
In the end, we feel sorry for anyone who has been harmed by this incident, but we must still claim no intentional wrongdoing on our side.
“The demo was better.”