Misfits suing book publisher over “unlicensed” use of skull logo
Blabbermouth reports that Misfits have filed a lawsuit against Abrams, the publisher of 2019 book Scream With Me: The Enduring Legacy of the Misfits. According to Blabbermouth, who says they have reviewed a copy of it, Misfits A.D., the limited-liability company created by Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only, filed the complaint on March 9. In it, they write that the book "is rife with large-scale, repeated, and unlicensed reproductions of Misfits A.D. intellectual property." The complaint continues:
For example, the cover of the photobook prominently displays, without authorization, the Misfits A.D. 'Fiend Skull design' trademark and, in doing so, misleads consumers into believing that the photo book has been approved by, or is associated with, Misfits A.D., which is indisputably false. The photobook also unabashedly copies wholesale copyrighted artwork associated with the MISFITS' musical recordings and releases. The MISFITS' copyrighted artwork is an integral part of the band's extensive and highly successful line of officially licensed merchandise and its world famous lifestyle brand. In addition, the named authors of the infringing photo book have been falsely affiliating themselves with the MISFITS in connection with advertising and promoting the publication and release of the book, further harming Misfits A.D.
In addition to the infringing cover of the Book, the Book is structured around the MISFITS Artwork with chapters that consist entirely of unauthorized uses of the MISFITS Artwork, with each of the MISFITS Artwork reproduced multiple times on multiples pages of the Book and using both exact copies and variants of the MISFITS Artwork.
Misfits A.D.'s legal counsel wrote to Abrams upon learning of the book's release, the suit says, and requested they cease and desist from promoting, advertising, or selling it. Abrams' response, the lawsuit continues, was to say that they had gotten clearances from other copyright holders for using the foreword, interviews, quotes, and some photographs, but to deny they needed clearance to use Misfits' Fiend Skull logo, or derivative works based on Misifts artwork, in the book.
The irony is, of course, that Misfits have heavily and deliberately taken inspiration from classic horror imagery in everything from their album art to their logo, in a tribute to the genre.