Matt Bean of Court TV is reporting that "radio stations and web sites were flooded yesterday with news that the seminal heavy metal band, METALLICA, had launched yet another lawsuit to protect its music from theft. This time, the rock pioneers were purportedly suing a Canadian band called UNFAITH for trademark infringement over the use of 'METALLICA-branded' chords E and F. 'The only problem: The story was a ruse. " 'That's a hoax,' METALLICA's Los Angeles-based lawyer, Jill Pietrini, told Courttv.com. "Freelance commercial designer and aspiring musician, Erik Ashley, 29, cleverly concocted the scam which sent users to an MTV.com story about the suit, which included a link to a fictional response from the band. " 'We're not saying we own those two chords, individually,' said drummer Lars Ulrich in Ashley's spoof. " 'That would be ridiculous,' the faux quote continued. 'We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music.' "Ashley even tossed in a barb from METALLICA's lawyer, Pietrini, for added realism. " 'They continue to shamelessly feature the two chords on their web site song samples and we just can't have that,' he wrote. "Exhausted after a day of fielding calls from dozens of newspapers and radio stations (including National Public Radio) as well as The Onion and Rolling Stone magazine, the Montreal, Canada resident told Courttv.com that he never expected the ruse to catch on. " 'It has taken on a life of its own,' said Ashley, who ran a spoof web site, SpoofThis.com, from 1997 to 2000. 'Our server crashed 3 times today ... The hits are already well over 100,000 visits.' "