Entries tagged with: lawsuits

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 59):

By Ian Chainey

danzig

Glenn Danzig, who last year recorded a covers album that may never come out, was in the studio over the weekend working on his next effort, a collection of Elvis covers. The pic above was posted to the Danzig Facebook page with the following message:

So strange how things happen.Working in studio all this week on "Danzig sings Elvis" ep & tonight is anniversary of day Elvis died"
RIP
EAP

GD 8/16/14

Eap, prap, lovp. A concrete release date hasn't been scheduled, but it's assumed the EAP EP will come out some time in 2015.

Is Danzig covering the King to blow off steam over the recent dismissal of his lawsuit v. Jerry Only? The lawsuit proposed Danzig was owed serious coin thanks to a lucrative Hot Topic deal brokered by Only that has spread Misfits-related merch far and wide (I saw a Crimson Ghost on an iPhone case. Don't look back. You can never look back). But, the presiding judge thought otherwise. According to RE-TOX:

Unfortunately, according to the judge, Danzig failed to allege which terms of the 1994 agreement Only actually breached. In the ruling, the judge notes that the merchandise provision of the 1994 agreement grants each co-owner (Danzig, Only, whoever) the "non-exclusive right to conduct merchandising and to exploit other rights relating to the use and exploitation of the name Misfits." AND that each will retain 100% of what each earns individually from exploiting these merchandising rights.

The best part: the agreement even states that neither Only nor Danzig has any obligation to pay the other person in the event one makes more money than the other.

Well, that smarts. Glenn, are you lonely tonight? At least Danzig has the higher profile concert schedule this year, playing Riot Fest and Housecore Horror Festival among other dates (as Samhain).

Check out Danzig's cover of Elvis's "Trouble" recorded in 1990 below.

Continue reading "Danzig recording Elvis covers EP, lost fight with Jerry Only over Misfits Hot Topic royalties"

Beasties

The Beastie Boys just went to court with Monster Energy drink over the company using their music and likenesses in an advertisement, and it looks like things worked in favor of the Beasties. NBC reports:

Beastie Boys' fight for their right to not let Monster Beverage Corp use the hip-hop group's music without their permission resulted in a verdict of $1.7 million on Thursday.

A federal jury in Manhattan issued the verdict on the eighth day of trial in a copyright dispute between members of the Brooklyn-born band and the energy drink maker over songs the band says Monster used in a 2012 promotional video without a license.

In other news, Mike D recently made it official that the band are no more. "We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died," he told the NY Daily News, "We can't make new music."

Danzig at Riot Fest in 2013 (more by Kirstie Shanley)
Danzig

Nestled within the Riot Fest Chicago 2014 lineup sat this intriguing name: Samhain. The Samhain? The band Glenn Danzig fronted between two legacy-ensuring runs in the Misfits and his "Mother"-effin' 'solo' stardom? That Samhain?

Danzig's official website has since confirmed: "We can confirm that DANZIG has accepted an invitation to perform as his Classic SAMHAIN at Riot Fest in Chicago this September. More as we get it...Stay Tuned!!!" Riot Fest has since announced that Samhain will play Initium in full.

We actually shouldn't be too surprised. Danzg has been touring with Doyle-infused Misfits sets as part of his show for a while now, and in 2011 he did a "Danzig Legacy" tour, with shows that included (drama and) seven Samhain songs and members as part of the setlist. That tour hit Riot Fest in Chicago, a fest Danzig then played for a second time last year (and which he will play for a third time this year). Three members of Samhain played in the band (Glenn Danzig, London May and Steve Zing).

What we still don't know is who will actually be playing in this version of the reunited "Samhain". Danzig hasn't said yet. Drummer/bassist Steve Zing is a very safe bet since he was in Samhain, played the 'Legacy' shows and plays in Danzig's current lineup. Drummer/bassist London May, already back in the fold recently, also seems very possible. The bigger question is whether we'll get original member (and Danzig original member, but current country singer) drummer/bassist Eerie Von back in the fold. In our professional opinion that is who Danzig needs most to validate this thing, and actually things are looking good, though it might require Glenn also wrangling in guitarist Pete "Damien" Marshall. In 2012, Blankman ran this interview:

BMi: Why weren't you part of the Samhain reunion

EV: "What reunion? Glenn and 2 drummers? I said if the Guitar player Damian wasn't involved I wasn't interested."

BMi: What do you think about Jerry Only's continued version of the Misfits?

EV: "That's Jerry's thing. He's keeping the name alive, and playing the songs for the kids who never saw the old band. I only saw them when they first got back together, and had Graves as a singer. I thought they were pretty good. I haven't seen Jerry and the others guys since.

BMi: Knowing all the guys in the band personally, what do you think the chances are of a full-fledged Misfits reunion?

EV: "Slim to None, but you never can tell. It's been discussed over the years."

Slim to none is right, and even more right now that Danzig and Jerry Only are embroiled in yet another lawsuit concerning a legal spat with Misfits bassist Jerry Only over Hot Topic merchandising royalties, citing the devilocked dude for breach of a '94 agreement to share trademarks.
After registering the trademarks, Danzig alleges Jerry then secretly entered into deals with various merchandisers, including Hot Topic, and cut Danzig out of any potential profits in the process. Danzig claims Jerry even threatened to withhold licensing rights from merchandisers if they did business with Danzig at all.

Danzig -- who left The Misfits in 1983 -- is suing for breach of contract and more. He insists he's solely responsible for the Misfits fame as a founding member of the group, and deserves his fair share of merchandising profits. [re-tox]

Misfits say it's "sour grapes". Read the entire statement they gave to Alternative Press in response to the lawsuit, below, and good luck Glenn.

Meanwhile, Jerry Only's version of the Misfits just announced that their NYC Halloween show will happen this year on October 28 at Irving Plaza. Tickets are on Live Nation/Music Geeks presale and go on regular sale Friday (5/16) at 10 AM.

All of Danzig's & Misfits' 2014 tour dates, along with some Samhain samples -- that you should listen to with unbiased ears -- below.

Continue reading "Samhain reuniting (?) for Riot Fest, Danzig & Jerry Only in court over Hot Topic, Misfits announce Halloween show"

IMAGE

When girl-centric toymakers GoldieBlox issued a public apology for using The Beastie Boys' song "Girls" (with altered lyrics) in an online video/ad and took it offline, some might have thought that would be that. But the NY Times reports that yesterday The Beastie Boys filed a lawsuit against GoldieBlox, saying the company used a "campaign of systematic infrigement" and:

Achieved and continues to achieve additional publicity, press coverage, and, upon information and belief, greater sales of its products, as a direct result of the Beastie Boys' perceived affiliation with the GoldieBlox Advertisement. Unfortunately, rather than developing an original advertising campaign to inspire its customers to create and innovate, GoldieBlox has instead developed an advertising campaign that condones and encourages stealing from others.
They also go on to say that Goldiblox has a history of turning other artists songs (they cite Queen and Daft Punk among others) into commercial jingles without permission. For those interested in page after page of legalese, you can browse the whole thing here. In a quote to the New York Times, GoldieBlox maintains that their use of the song in the video falls under "fair use."

In more pleasant news, Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock features in Champagne Jerry's new video "Yo, Kev!" which we premiered this week.

Johnny Thunders

[New York Doll Johnny] Thunders left no will [when he died in 1991], and his last few thousand bucks were to go to his estranged wife, their two sons and his daughter from a romance with a Swedish groupie. [NY Post]
PREVIOUSLY: NY Dolls remember Lou Reed

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan had been having what seemed like a great year, having gone on a massive tour, made an interactive music video, and released a huge box set, but now reports are coming in that he's being sued by a group of Croatians for racism. In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Dylan made a comment comparing the conflict between Catholic Croats and Christian Orthodox Serbs to that of Jews and Nazis and slavery in America:

This country is just too fucked up about color. It's a distraction. People at each other's throats just because they are of a different color. It's the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighborhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood
According to International Business Times, Croatian secretary general Vlatko Marić said, "It is an incitement to hatred. You cannot compare Croatian criminals to all Croats. But we have nothing against Rolling Stone magazine or Bob Dylan as a singer."

Business Insider mentions that due to Europe's strict free speech laws, Dylan and Rolling Stone would face a fine and formal sanction if found guilty.

Ad-Rock at MoMA last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Ad-Rock

In case you aren't caught up with the toy company GoldieBlox vs Beastie Boys drama, they posted an video/ad (which has since been taken down) which repurposed the Beasties' song "Girls" as a feminist anthem for young girls, advocating the idea that girls can create whatever they want and not be forever subject to all things pretty, pink, and princess.

Word then got out that the Beastie Boys were threatening copyright infringement over the use of the song, but GoldieBlox claimed it was parody and protected by Fair Use:

In the lyrics of the Beastie Boys' song entitled Girls, girls are limited (at best) to household chores, and are presented as useful only to the extent they fulfill the wishes of the male subjects. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video takes direct aim at the song both visually and with a revised set of lyrics celebrating the many capabilities of girls. Set to the tune of Girls but with a new recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities--exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company's goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
The Beastie Boys didn't see eye to eye with that response, arguing that parody or not, the video was still used as an advertisement, and the group strictly prohibits the use of their songs in advertisements. In an open letter to GoldieBlox, they wrote:
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys," we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad. We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.

Now, GoldieBlox have responded with their own open letter, saying that they are "ready to stop the lawsuit":
Dear Adam and Mike,

We don't want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

When we made our parody version of your song, 'Girls', we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren't too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It's been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

We don't want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.

Sincerely,

Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

Beastie Boy Ad-Rock just DJed the Body/Head show at MoMA last week (11/21) as a last-minute replacement for his wife Kathleen Hanna. He'll also be at the upcoming Champagne Jerry show at Joe's Pub on December 7, the next date of CJ's monthly series at the venue (tix).

Watch the GoldieBlox "Girls" video (reposted by someone else) below...

Continue reading "GoldieBlox removes 'Girls' from ad; writes open letter to Beastie Boys who wrote open letter to them"

CMJ

CMJ is underway in NYC, and hopefully it's going well for all the fans and bands out there, but unfortunately, there's some trouble behind the scenes for the fest. NY Times reports:

The small organization behind [CMJ] is facing a lawsuit of nearly $1 million over a failed merger.

The case has its origins in a deal announced four years ago by CMJ and its founder, Robert K. Haber, to merge with Metropolitan Entertainment, led by the veteran New York concert promoter John Scher. The men said they had plans for CMJ tours and other joint programs, but the deal, which valued CMJ at $2.4 million, was never completed. According to a lawsuit filed by Mr. Scher in May, relations between the companies broke down.

In his suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Mr. Scher says that CMJ has failed to repay nearly $600,000 in loans that Metropolitan made in 2009 and 2010 to help keep the festival afloat. With interest, that debt is now nearly $800,000, the suit says. It also seeks $99,000 in other fees as well as repayment of legal expenses.

Meanwhile, CMJ continues today (10/16) with day shows and night shows. You can check out our list of 30 artists to see at CMJ and browse our CMJ tag for more.

by Doug Moore

Black Flag at Grand Victory, June 2013 (more by PSquared Photography)
Black Flag

The great Black Flag kerfuffle of 2013 may finally be winding down. If you've been following this mess, you probably remember BF founder Greg Ginn suing the members of FLAG (Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Stephen Egerton, and Bill Stevenson), plus Henry Rollins (just for yuks, y'know?), over the trademark on Black Flag's name and famous "bars" logo back in August.

In a decision that will no doubt rock the world of jurisprudence to its dusty foundations, a judge has ruled against Ginn's claim. There's a good summary of the situation over at SPIN, which goes thusly:

A judge found that: SST has no rights to the Black Flag copyright; Ginn has no special rights to any of the trademarks; neither Ginn nor the label gave a damn about copyrghts or trademarks until now; Rollins never quit Black Flag (!); fans are smart enough to know which band is which; and nobody tried to screw anybody over, so let's all give it a rest.
And here's the legalese version from the same source:
(1) the court found that SST had no rights in the trademarks;

(2) Ginn seemed to have no individual rights in the Black Flag trademarks;

(3) even if either had had any rights in those marks, they had abandoned those rights through a failure to police the mark for nearly 30 years;

(4) the defendants' claim that the Black Flag assets were owned by a statutory partnership comprised of various former band members - even if these members only consisted of Henry and Ginn, based on (a) accepting Ginn's argument that he never quit and given that there is no evidence or allegation that Henry ever quit - has merit;

(5) that even if the plaintiffs had some trademark claim in the marks, there was no likelihood of consumer confusion between Black Flag and Flag given the ample press coverage over the dispute; and

(6) the trademark application and registration that Henry and Keith made was done in good faith (e.g. not fraudulently) - and is thus not necessarily subject to cancellation - given that they understood their actions to have been done on the part of the Black Flag partnership (see No. 4, above).

This turn of events adds insult to injury for Ginn; the media consensus is generally that FLAG have also done better for themselves as a live unit than Black Flag have. I'd like to conclude that we can put this stupid issue to rest now, but somehow I don't think this is over.


matangi

You may remember that M.I.A. flipped the bird during the Madonna-centric Halftime Show telecast of the 2012 Superbowl and that raised digit caused a bunch of controversy. A year and a half later, most of us probably assumed this all just went away, but it didn't. M.I.A. has made public -- to the Hollywood Reporter -- that the NFL has been quietly waging legal war against her, and is demanding she pay a $1.5 million fine for the "offensive gesture ... flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl." Last night M.I.A. released her official statement on the whole thing:

The NFL thing is completely ridiculous. It's been making me laugh for a while, but now it's so boring I don't even laugh anymore. So the precise moment in question, and you can actually freeze-frame this as many media outlets have. The frame you're looking for has my middle finger in the foreground, and the larger picture where it zooms out is a row of 10-15 cheerleaders, young black females, that Madonna got from a local high school in Indianapolis, and they were all under 16. If you look at them, they're all wearing cheerleader outfits, hips thrusted in the air, legs wide open, in this very sexually provocative position.

So, now, they're scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That's basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it's a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it's OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I'm being sued for it.

In other news, it looks like M.I.A.'s much-delayed fourth album, Matangi, is really coming out on November 5. She just released the cover art today via her instragram and that's it at the top of this post.

You can stream the latest taste of Matangi, "Come Walk with Me," below...

Continue reading "M.I.A. releases statement on Superbowl "offensive gesture" lawsuit, reveals cover art for 'Matangi'"

photos by PSquared Photography

The plaintiff at Grand Victory, June 2013
Black Flag

Hollwood Reporter has details on a majorly shocking development to absolutely no one... Black Flag has sued FLAG.

[Greg Ginn] claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and "Flag" variation) and infamous logo, which Flag use on tour.

He sued his 1979-mid 1980s bandmates Friday, seeking an injunction against their current tour, which kicked off in May and will stop in Los Angeles (pending this case) for FYF Fest on August 24. The suit describes the alleged infringement of the logo and name "Flag" as "a colorable imitation" that's "likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers."

Ginn accuses Garfield and Morris of lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label's record covers to feign as though they've been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979; and in what's alleged to be an act of "outrageous fraud," using bootleg SST T-shirts in an attempt to show they've been making such products in that time.

Hollywood Reporter has a copy of the actual paper signed, which also name former vocalist Henry Rollins (though he is not involved in FLAG).

Check out some belated pictures in this post of Black Flag in one of their more-punk moments, playing a cramped Grand Victory on June 16.

More below...

Continue reading "Black Flag sues FLAG +++ belated pics from Grand Victory"

Rihanna

A Harlem woman claims in a lawsuit that she got herpes at a Rihanna concert in Brooklyn from lipstick the singer endorsed.

Starkeema Greenidge, 28, alleges she contracted the virus when a representative of MAC Cosmetics applied a used tube of RiRi Woo to her smackers.

"I wasn't able to work for two weeks. It cost me a lot of money," Greenidge, a waitress, told the Daily News on Wednesday.

She said she slapped MAC with the suit in Manhattan Supreme Court in hopes of forcing the company to be more sanitary in the future. Greenidge also said the company should train its employees to use disposable tubes or swabs to apply the lipstick. [Daily News]

The alleged incident went down May 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (the 2nd of two shows Rihanna played there and the one that was rescheduled).

Layne Staley

"The mother of deceased Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley has sued her son's former bandmates, claiming they cut her out of royalties owed on the band's hits.

Staley's mother Nancy McCallum contends the surviving members of Alice in Chains owe her half of the money due Staley - about 16 percent of the hard rock band's income. According to the lawsuit, the band has attempted to cut her out of any further payments. [seattlepi {via)]

The Staley-less Alice in Chains meanwhile are on the road and play the MMRBQ at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ on Saturday (5/18) with Cheap Trick and fellow grunge representatives Soundgarden (who we just caught in Jersey earlier this month).

Later in the summer Alice in Chains join Jane's Addiction for a "Rockstar Energy" tour that hits CT, NJ and NY among other places. All of those dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Layne Staley's mom suing Alice in Chains (who are playing the MMRBQ w/ Soundgarden & Cheap Trick)"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Broken Water - Drown (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Broken Water - Underground (MP3)

IMAGE

Olympia, WA trio Broken Water released their second album, Tempest, about a year ago via Sub Pop subsidiary, Hardly Art. If you like your indie rock good and noisy, you should check out the record if you haven't already. There are two MP3s to download above and a video for "Chantal" and Spotify stream of the whole album below.

Broken Waters kick off serious North American tour tonight in Portland, OR and will make it to NYC next month for a show at The Gutter on May 20 with Lawsuits. They'll also play live the next day (5/21) on WFMU. All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Olympia WA's Broken Water launch North American tour"

RZA screams "J'Accuse!!!" at Teichiku Ent. (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
RZA

RZA is taking a bold move of fighting back against a copyright infringement lawsuit, filing a lawsuit of his own against JVC Kenwood Holdings, which includes Teichiku Entertainment:

RZA (born Robert Diggs) is upset that the record label Island Def Jam has withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the claims that one of Teichiku's sound recordings was illicitly used on Kanye West's 2010 song, "Dark Fantasy," which RZA produced.

As a result, RZA is going to court to get a declaration that "Dark Fantasy" is not an infringement... According to the latest lawsuit, RZA was notified that "Dark Fantasy" contained an unauthorized sample from "Gincyo Watadori" performed by Meiko Kaji. The defendant demanded compensation.

What happened next, according to RZA's court papers, was that West's label Island Def Jam refused to pay royalties, claiming "that it is entitled to indemnification from plaintiff against defendant's copyright infringement claim."

So RZA is going to court against the accuser in an attempt to show the sampling allegation has no merit. -[Hollywood Reporter]

Follow that? RZA seeks to "commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending" with the lawsuit, which is one of several in the works.

Yay! More lawsuits!

Don't steal our MP3s dudes
Iced Earth

An independent record label, a foreign film company and several pornography studios have declared war on illegal file sharing in New Jersey, suing more than 12,000 people since June for allegedly using peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully distribute copyrighted material over the Internet....

...McDaniel's clients include a London-based record company, Century Media Ltd., which is suing fans of two popular metal bands for allegedly using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol to unlawfully distribute their music online.

Two of the suits aim to halt the illicit distribution of "Dark Adrenaline," the most recent album by the Italian band Lacuna Coil. The suits collectively target 3,136 John Doe defendants.

Four similar civil complaints accuse another 4,327 unnamed file swappers of illegally distributing "Dystopia," the 2011 album by Iced Earth, a Florida-based metal band on the Century Media label.

McDaniel is also representing a German film company, Amselfilm Productions GmbH & CO. KG of Berlin, which holds the rights to the 2011 Russian movie "Bablo," or "The Dough." Three suits, filed in late June at the same time as the six Century Media cases, contend 4,654 people shared pirated copies of the film.

"Illegal downloading has reached epidemic proportions, as thousands of works are pirated on a daily basis through bit torrents that rob copyright holders of the value of their creative work," McDaniel wrote in a suit he filed last year in Newark on behalf of another German client, Baseprotect UG Ltd. [NorthJersey.com (via Pitchfork)]

In related news, Drake is the most pirated artist in the US.

Happy Speak Like a Pirate day y'all!

Bubble Kingdom

Next time you go, ahem, raving, make sure and stay away from the glowing green pool of water. Two women have allegedly suffered ill affects after going to Return to the Bubble Kingdom on August 4 at a Sunset Park Warehouse:

The two 19-year-old women, Rocio Marie Cabrera and Sarah Deodath of the Bronx, have now filed a lawsuit against the promoters as well as warehouse owner Atlantic Properties. It states that the organizers "dumped toxic chemicals into the large pool to alter 'the color and/or reflective properties' of the water,'" which led to the women ingesting and absorbing the "dangerous, hazardous and/or toxic chemicals." Their lawyer, Keith Sullivan, called the pool a "chemical soup." The suit states the women have been left with a "permanent reduction of visibility in both eyes."

...Another attendee at the party tells us that the pool was "the size of a typical backyard above-ground circular pool," and that "no matter how screwed up you were, it was easy to see you shouldn't go in that pool--it was filthy, the water was green, and it was leaking into the basement." She added that the pool access was only for those with the $90 VIP tickets, "but I didn't see any signs or security keeping regular ticket holders out." -[Gothamist]

Of course someone commented, "This is BS. I was there and a bunch of people I know were in this pool and no one suffered any ill effects," so the jury is still out on the facts of the case. Check out video from the event here.

The next party thrown by the Unicorn Meat gang, who put together the Return to Bubble Kingdom Party, goes down on October 27 and is called Illuminate.

This remains a legal-to-buy accessory
Velvet Banana

A judge has peeled back one of The Velvet Underground's legal claims involving the use of the band's famed banana logo.

Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan tossed the legendary band's request for a court order declaring that the late artistAndy Warhol's foundation doesn't hold a copyright on the iconic image.

Nathan said a promise by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts not to sue the Velvets for using the design had "eliminated any live controversy" over the copyright.

Her ruling didn't affect three other claims filed by the band, which is seeking unspecified damages for alleged trademark infringement and a court order barring the foundation from licensing the logo. - [NY Post]

Lou Reed and John Cale sued the Warhol estate last year after the famed banana began being licensed for iPod cases and other items not deemed cool by the Velvet Underground members. Of course, people have been talking on a banana for years, as seen below.

Meanwhile in less litigious VU news, John Cale's new album, Adventures in Nookie Wood, is out October 2 on Double Six/Domino and you can watch the first video from it, "Face to the Sky," below. Cale also has two musical works debuting at BAM Next Wave fest next year.

Continue reading "The Velvet Underground lose lawsuit against the Warhol estate over rights to banana image"

Stipe

R.E.M., who recently described "why President Obama's vision is essential to the notion of equality and democracy in America", posted the following note today:

R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was used in the Fox News coverage of the Democratic National Convention last night. R.E.M. today, through its music publisher, Warner-Tamerlane Music, demanded that Fox News cease and desist from continuing its unlicensed and unauthorized use of the song. Michael Stipe said, "We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage. Our music does not belong there."
Of course this type of story is becoming more and more common as the election gets closer. Rage Against the Machine recently had something to say about their fan Paul Ryan, and Thin Lizzy's camp wasn't too happy with Paul either. Same with Twisted Sister, and Silversun Pickups.

In related news, R.E.M. recently reunited... for dinner.

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Lord Finesse and Mac Miller react to the lawsuit
Lord Finesse

Rapper Lord Finesse says in a $10 million lawsuit that 20-year-old rap star Mac Miller ripped off his 1995 hit "Hip 2 Da Game" to launch his music career.

Lord Finesse (born Robert Hall) has been rapping since the late 1980s, and led the popular New York hip-hop crew Diggin in the Crates (D.I.T.C.), in addition to having a solo career and writing for rappers like Biggie Smalls and Dr. Dre.

In 1995, Finesse released his hit song "Hip 2 Da Game," which is the subject of his lawsuit against Mac Miller in federal court in Manhattan.
"This is a case about a teenage rapper- Mac Miller- copying the music from a song written, produced and performed by Lord Finesse, a hip hop legend, changing the title and then distributing it under his own name in order to launch his music career," the complaint states.

Mac Miller released his version of "Hip 2 Da Game" on a "mix tapes," a term used to describe free music distributed by up-and-coming rappers.

The "mix tape" strategy has been favored by many rappers and hip hop producers in recent years. Rappers often record new rhymes over the instrumental tracks of older, popular rap songs and distribute the music for free.

Finesse, whose real name is Robert Hall, sued the website DatPiff.com, which is one of the best known distributors of free mix tapes from new rappers, and Miller's label, Rostrum Records...

The mix tape was released on DatPiff in August 2010, has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and has been streamed more than 450,000 times, the lawsuit states.

The video for "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza," which uses the beat for "Hip 2 Da Game" has been viewed nearly 24 million times on YouTube, according to the complaint.

Finesse says Miller has profited from the unauthorized use of his song.

The lawsuit cites a New York Times article from last November about Miller that explains how the alleged infringement is "part of a strategy to build a fan base." -[Courthouse News]

As much of a fan of Lord Finesse as I am (huge), I cant help to think about all of the unknown artists that released their music on private and obscure labels that Finesse would go on to sample. Of course, the game is wholly different now.

Mac Miller will join as support for Wiz Khalifa tour, joining names like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Chiddy Bang and Chevy Woods at Jones Beach on August 2nd. Tickets are still available, if that's your sort of thing.

Full Wiz Khalifa tour dates, the offending Mac Miller song, and a palate cleanser (a sorbet scoop of classic Lord Finesse) is below.

Continue reading "Lord Finesse sues Mac Miller over use of "Hip 2 Da Game" beat"

Bill Ward

It's official.

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians,

I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won't be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012.

Read the rest of Bill Ward's note below. Hopefully they can come to terms for some later dates.

Continue reading "Bill Ward is officially out as drummer for at least part of the Black Sabbath tour"

by BBG

Nick Oliveri of Kyuss Lives! at Terminal 5 (more by Greg Cristman)
Kyuss Lives

Looks like former Kyuss members Scott Reeder and Josh Homme aren't too pleased with the recently reformed Kyuss Lives!. Homme & Reeder have filed a lawsuit against Kyuss Lives! alleging trademark infringement and consumer fraud. Their joint statement reads:

"It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss."
This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It's a sad day for us and for John - but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess.
In related news, Kyuss & Kyuss Lives! member Nick Oliveri had his day in court regarding the little incident he had with the SWAT team. According to TMZ, the bassist faces "two counts of possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, 2 counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer". Oliveri has pleaded not-guilty on all counts and will head to court in middle-April to face sentencing of up to 15 years in prison.

Megaupload

Federal prosecutors in Virginia say they have shut down one of the world's largest Internet file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, and charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws.

An indictment accuses the company of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content. -[New York Times]

This strangely/coincidentally/ironically/suspiciously/somethingly comes just one day after more news of Universal being pissed off which was also the same day (yesterday) that the internet protested the related SOPA & PIPA bills (which were somewhat successful in helping that issue).

Megupload is run by, no shit, CEO Swizz Beatz who recently helped create a video promoting the site with testimonials from the likes of Kanye West, Diddy, The Game, Ciara, and Alicia Keys. That video was controversially removed (by Universal) and then put back on YouTube in December (by Google). Universal Music Group and Megaupload are now suing each other, though it looks like that's the least of Megaupload's problems at the moment. Universal says the endorsements were "unauthorized". Watch the video in question below...

Continue reading "Megaupload shut down by the feds (not long after its public fight with Universal began)"

Vampire Weekend

"Model Ann Kirsten Kennis asked a federal court in Los Angeles to dismiss the case, after she reached a settlement with Vampire Weekend and its label, XL Records. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. The case was dismissed yesterday by court order.

Kennis sued in 2010 after photographer Tod Brody licensed a Polaroid image of Kennis for use on the cover of the band's Contra album. The band also used the image to promote its Contra tour.

Brody allegedly provided the image--which was shot in the 1980s-- to Vampire Weekend with a forged model release. According to court papers, he was paid $5,000 for the image license. It is unclear who shot the image, or how Brody obtained it." [Photo District News] (via)

The article goes on to say that the case between Vampire Weekend the photographer is still open.

Raekwon at Best Buy Theater (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Raekwon

Raekwon will headline Prospect Park Bandshell on Saturday (7/9 @ 7:30pm) featuring an impressive lineup of Smif-n-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Large Professor & Neek The Exotic, and more. There is a suggested $3 donation to get in to the (free) Lyricist Lounge-sponsored Celebrate Brooklyn show.

While on the subject of Smif N Wessun, the crew joined Pete Rock in a protest earlier this week at City Hall regarding the incident following the Monumental release party at Tammany Hall. General Steele of Smif N Wessun also sat down with Planet Ill to discuss the madness:

As an artist with a socially conscious solo catalog, why was this the wrong show for the police to show out at?

General Steele: Oh yeah. Well they didn't know that; they didn't do their homework. And what I found out was after this event, after the melee they caused, they started going to clubs. I forget what the particular names of the clubs were, uh... UG Lounge, in L.E.S. [(CultureFix is one of them)] Why they would go there is beyond me, maybe they're the hub for criminals or something, but they went there asking about us. Inquiring about "what is these guys, who are they connected with? What is their real thing, what can we dig up on these guys?"

And to think about that is crazy to me.

This is our fifth album. This is our career. We just came from Norway. Before that we was in Czechoslovakia, before that we was in Poland. We do this for a living. Rap is not the side gig.

Investigations continue.

In other news, Raekwon and Nas recently teamed up for the track "Rich And Black" from Rae's new album Shaolin vs. Wu-tang. That song now has a video and related behind the scenes footage courtesy of LRG Films. Watch it all below.

Nas more recently teamed with Common for "Ghetto Dreams" from Com's forthcoming Warner Brothers release The Dreamer, The Believer. The just-released track can be streamed below and bought on iTunes.

AS announced, Nas and Damian Marley play Central Park Summerstage on 8/11. The show is still happening and tickets are still on sale, though the pair's show at Merriweather Post Pavilion (outside of DC) with The Roots, Chuck Brown and others has been cancelled. Chuck Brown however is also coming to NYC for some shows including one on the same stage Raekwon is playing this weekend in Prospect Park.

And last but certainly not least, Raekwon's partner in crime Ghostface Killah has a bit of legal trouble on his hands all of a sudden over his classic 2000 LP Supreme Clientele.

Hollywood composer Jack Urbont is suing Sony Music Entertainment and Ghostface Killah for illegally sampling his "Iron Man Theme," originally created for the 1960s television show, The Marvel Super Heroes.

Urbont is a veteran actor and producer on Broadway as well as the creator of theme music for Guiding Light, One Life to Live, General Hospital, as well as music for That 70's Show, Oprah, 20/20 and The View. He earned an Emmy for Lorne Greene's New Wilderness and won BMI's TV/Film Pioneer award in 1986.

... According to the complaint: "Defendant Ghostface is also known for the nickname, 'Tony Starks,' which is a take-off of the name 'Tony Stark,' Iron Man's real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants' use of Urbont's 'Iron Man Theme' gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it." -[Hollywood Reporter]

While you ponder this lawsuit, Boing Boing has a fascinating piece on how Paul's Boutique would lose $19.8M in sales if it followed today's copyright law.

Videos & song streams below.

Continue reading "Smif-n-Wessun speak on the cop incident, playing Brooklyn w/ Raekwon (who's working w/ Nas who's working w/ Common)"

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