Music

Dropkick Murphys ‘SMASH’ neo-Nazis with cease and desist

"F***** Losers. Stop using our song for your little dress up party video 👊🏻"

Matthew J Lee/Globe staff
Ken Casey and band Dropkick Murphys during their St. Patrick's Day show at The House of Blues Boston on March 17, 2022. Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

The Dropkick Murphys are not here to mess around.

Soon after the Celtic-punk band became aware of a video created by local neo-Nazis that uses its song, “The Boys Are Back,” the Quincy rockers fired off a warning on Twitter.

“F***** Losers,” the band wrote in a tweet on Tuesday night. “Stop using our song for your little dress up party video. We will SMASH you 👊🏻”

That same day, the band known for its blaring bagpipes, hard rock, and unabashed love of Boston sent the white supremacist organization, The New England Nationalist Social Club, also known as NSC 131 or the Massachusetts 131 Lads, a cease and desist letter for copyright violations from its attorney.

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A press contact for the Dropkick Murphys verified the letter to Boston.com on Thursday.

“DKM has not (and would not, ever, in a million years) authorize or license to NSC 131 the right to use or exploit the Recording and/or Composition in the Video in question or any similar video,” wrote attorney Tamara Milagros-Butler.

The video in question, posted on Monday, apparently documents NSC 131’s visit to the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, where the group — who were not explicitly invited to the public festivities — unfurled a banner reading, “Keep Boston Irish” along the parade route.

Officials and community leaders condemned the display this week.

In the 3-minute-plus video, masked members of the group can be seen handing out fliers, all while the Dropkick Murphys song, the opener of 2013’s “Signed and Sealed in Blood,” plays behind the clips, similar to a music video.

The chorus of the song exclaims, “The boys are back / And they’re looking for trouble.” Lyrics in the bridge declare, “We’re coming for you.”

The Nationalist Social Club is identified as a neo-Nazi group by both the Counter Extremism Project and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The group was formed in eastern Massachusetts in 2019 and claims to have small, independent groups throughout Europe and the United States, according to the ADL.

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The cease and desist letter was also sent to Odysee, where the video was posted. The New Hampshire-based, video-sharing platform launched in 2020 and has attracted far-right creators, including those shunned on other sites as online platforms have reviewed and tightened restrictions around their content standards in recent years.

The Dropkick Murphys, through their attorney, demanded their music be removed from the video and in any other media where it was used. The band also asked for details of all instances where the group illegally used its material.

“We’ll take your immediate compliance as confirmation that you received this letter,” Milagros-Butler wrote. “If, however, you fail to immediately comply, then my client and their designees and assignees are prepared to take whatever legal action they deem necessary and appropriate to protect their rights in and to the Recording and Compensation, including, without limitation, seeking statutory and punitive damages for your copyright infringement.”

The video appears to violate Odysee’s community guidelines, which prohibit copyright infringement and “content or posts that incite hatred or violence towards a particular group or person(s).”

Additionally, the guidelines ban “content or posts that promote terrorism, criminal activity, or credibly calls for violence (coordinated or otherwise),” and state video creators are “responsible for the content and posts made under your channel/handle.”

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The song remained in the video on Odysee as of Thursday afternoon, when the post had garnered nearly 4,000 views.

Odysee did not immediately return a request for comment.

The tussle, however, is not the first time the Dropkick Murphys have taken on white supremacists.

In 2013, when a man from the audience at one of the band’s gigs in New York City flashed the Nazi salute onstage, bassist-singer Ken Casey quickly shoved him to the floor and had him ejected.

“Nazis are not f****** welcome at a Dropkick Murphys show,” Casey told the crowd moments later, to applause.

Last weekend, the Dropkick Murphys returned to a St. Patrick’s Day tradition in Boston, playing three sold out shows for the first time in two years.

Update: On Friday morning, Odysee told Boston.com in an email the NSC 131 video violates the platform’s community guidelines and will be removed.

“Odysee has up to 10 days to review and remove content,” Odysee wrote. “The above video will be removed shortly, as it does violate our community guidelines.”

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