Remember a certain lawsuit issued by a certain dead rockstar‘s widow against a certain fan-organized tribute festival? As it turns out, said widow just lost the appeal. Robert who mailed in the story, says:
Sorry, currently only available in german. But the message is simple: GZ had appealed against the negative decision from some time ago, this appeal has now been denied, which completes the lawsuit in favor of Zappanale.
From my understanding, the Zappanale festival even retains the right to use FZ’s trademark imperial in its promotional material.
I kid you not.
Incredibly, having just lost the Zappanale lawsuit, the ZFT is now going after Paul Green’s School of Rock — more specifically Napoleon M. Brock’s envolvement therein. Here’s the Berger-Kahn letter (pdf). Quote:
It recently came to our attention that Napoleon Murphy Brock and the Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars are currently scheduled to perform the music of Frank Zappa […] We understand that this tour is billed as “Napoleon Murphy Brock Performs ZAPPA with the Paul Green School of Rock All-stars”. Please be advised that none of you possess any license, permission or authority to publicly perform the songs of Frank Zappa.
Should you wonder where your precious Barfko Swill dollars are headed for, look no further: this is it.
Taken straight from Der Spiegel (and translated to English by yours truly):
His name belongs to me, thought Zappa widow Gail — and so she started a lawsuit against the music festival “Zappanale”, organized each year in his honor by a Fanclub. She has failed however to convince the Düsseldorf civil court.
Yay Zappanale! So. That was money well spent, wasn’t it Gail?
Here’s the article according to Google Translate, if you’re in for a laugh.
Update: here’s the article in English.
Hat tip: Robert Graf-Waczenski!
I received Zappanale‘s 19th newsletter yesterday, which talks mainly about the ZFT vs Zappanale trial. Remember that one? Back in August, there was talk of an out-of-court settlement:
The Zappa Family Trust may be willing to compromise. ZFT lawyers now say that the Zappanale can use the Zappa name if they brand the festival as “Zappa music and more.”
Now, my German is as rusty as an early 90s Russian submarine but as I understand it, here’s how things appear to have evolved since then from the ZFT claim’s perspective: if the festival’s organizers wish to keep the festival going, they are to report — at the earliest occasion — name and location of any artists playing, as well as any (FZ) tunes on their playlist.
It would then be GZ’s deity-given, exclusive prerogative to veto any artists she feels “violate the integrity and intentions” of FZ, from playing at Zappanale.
A hostile take-over, if you will.
Nennt man solch eine Forderung vielleicht Zensur? Ist das nicht unheimlich? (Yes Bob Again, I’m way ahead of you!)
The Zappanale guys beg to differ, and so yet another court meeting is scheduled at the Düsseldorf Landgericht where, as Thomas Dippel puts it, “things are in good hands”.
On a completely off-topic note: yes, I’ve been out of the loop lately and yes, there’s a very good reason for this.
— “Oh, do tell Barry!”
Any day now, any day now…
Der Spiegel, on the day of the ZFT vs Arf Society/Zappanale trial:
Mother Of Intervention: Zappa Festival Defends Itself from… Zappa.
Quoth Goil Zeepee:
“One of the reasons you file a trademark is to protect the works of a person,” Gail Zappa told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a telephone interview. “I felt we were getting into territory where we were putting the audience at risk in terms of who Frank was. You become concerned.”
Dippel says that the Zappanale has long tried to get the kind of official rubber stamp that Gail Zappa insists is available. He claims that letters have been sent and that Zappanale people even met with Gail in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 1990s. He also says that he invited the Zappa family — including Gail, Dweezil and Moon — to an unveiling of a Zappa statue that now graces Bad Doberan.
Gail — who refers to the statue as an “impish creature” that “doesn’t look like Frank Zappa unless you argue that putting a moustache on any face looks like Frank Zappa” — says that very little communication has taken place with the Zappanale.
I guess you know where our sympathies lie, right?