Chrome Dinette To Be Shut Down?

John Healy, curator of the wonderful Chrome Dinette has apparently received a cease & desist letter, courtesy of the ZFT’s lawyers.

We are hereby formally advising you that you must immediately disable the above-referenced website and cease and desist any and all further unauthorized use of the materials referenced herein or any materials owned by The Zappa Family Trust. Our client will consider every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney’s fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by our client as a result of any action that is commenced against you.


40 thoughts on “Chrome Dinette To Be Shut Down?”

  1. This is like the union, man. Just like the union.

    Hey, you say my name? I sue you! Hey, you look like me? I sue you! Hey, you tell people I exist? I sue you!

    Sometimes I just don’t understand it. I mean, websites like that are not making any money, are they? If I were italian and if my last name were Zappa, I would offer every fan webspace and and email adress under my very own zappa domain.

    I don’t get it. It’s the people who make those sites and who consume those sites that legally purchase every single official release in every incarnation. Apart from those people, who buys a Zappa “fillintheblank-age” anyway?

    Not clever to piss ’em off, me believes.

    The best thing is, and I paraphrase: “Linking to is a crime.”

  2. I agree with Tom, “Linking to is a crime”??? Little do they know about the ways of the internet…

    So, what’s next in order to feed a family? Spray mustard gas in every Zappa fan that still dares to remind his name? pl-eeease….

  3. Bullshit! The ZFT is only in it for the money!
    This 10 Years without them was a present from
    Frank for us. Whats coming next? No subsitutes?
    Whats about the crappy sound they’re offering?
    WHO wants to buy this? Frank was alway on top
    in soundquality and we respected this!
    We all got enough sources since all those years,
    we don’t need to spend our hard money for those
    subsitutes. P.S. They still have millions of Dollars earnt by Frank
    so they wont get hungry the next day.

  4. no, no, no -you don’t understand!

    the zft is a noble body of artistes, poets, philosophers, golf hobbyists, beer aficianados, and shitty reissue specialists.

    they have nothing but good intentions in mind, and they’re down to their last can of baked beans.

    just ask that dude scott, he’ll tell you. don’t fuck with the zft – they’re fantastic, no matter what you think.

    (mcnastie then chugs a bottle of freak out ale, places joe’s x-masage into the cd player, and vomits)

  5. Eh, chirst no wonder they can’t put anything out, they spend all their money on lawyers fees.
    I wonder how much that love note cost the ZFT to have their lawyer write?

    Anyone who has read the Relix interview
    already knows that gail has nothing but contempt for the fans.
    Too bad she couldn’t spend more time in
    the “executive producer” seat, and less time in the “I’m Right” seat.

  6. There might be – in the worst case scenario – a genuine compensation for all the work done by Barry.

    It is: contributing on all things FZ on ” radio 3″‘s. Klara ( BE / VL ) for instance just to start with.

    Barry: just provide me again with your data, I’ll make an effort to deliver.

  7. scott – you’re the one who voluntarily offered up your HILARIOUS PETULANCE in a past thread.

    don’t blame me if i consider you a one man laugh riot (although, your last few posts have been really lacking – i guess you need to find something other than the zft to get all self-righteous over).

    what was that old adage about glass houses and throwing stones?

    ah, forget it – i’m only trying to bring out the best in you, fruitcake.

    and the zft still sucks.

  8. I’m the biggest Zappa fan I know – by far – and I am finished with the ZFT. No offence to Dweezil and the other kids, but I’ve just had it. It’s always been run like crap, the releases are often sub-par, and I’ve heard too many stories about weirdness from Gail, including some from her own mouth (for instance, that Relix item in which she decries not getting paid for live performances by bands who honor Frank by choosing to play his music in crappy clubs – about as big a moneymaker for them as it was for the Soul Giants in 1963).

    I know that $22 million (from Ryko) isn’t what it used to be (seriously, it’s not), but there’s something very lame about the idea that they started out with approximately that much money -probably more- the name recognition, the Vault, a large and rabidly loyal fan base, etc. and are now hurting for money. That takes SERIOUS mismanagment.

    Frank was a great artist. I’m sure his and Gail’s kids are talented and nice. But I really no longer care about the ZFT. Shutting down fan sites is simply squalid.

  9. What if ALL the FZ-tribute pages would accept a kind of “statement” or something, and all would present in their homepages at the same time? Telling what we think about it, what we suggest/ask for, and why. It could be called “We’re Only In It For The Music”, hehe. Hm?

  10. Having had personal contact with the ZFT (which has been positive, mind you) all I can do ist stare in disbelief however that one is spelled.

    I think that the whole Internet-Streaming-Audio is overrated. Listening to stuff on the net doesn’t keep people from buying, it makes them buy. What keeps people from buying is lack of presence at the desired point of information or point of sale.

    Try buying a Zappa CD in Stuttgart in a regular CD shop. Forget it. Unless your in it for the compilations.

    I don’t know what to do …

  11. I’m not sure I understand why everyone is getting so pissy.

    I hadn’t look at the website in question before I saw this post, when I did it was perfectly clear why they want it shut down, they have loads of copyrighted material for any one to listen to for free! This is huge copyright infringment and ZFT are perfectly entitled to be annoyed.

    Has the ZFT made any attempt to shut down sites that exclusively host Zappa bootlegs? Not that I’m aware of. Have they tried to shut down sites that contain guitar tab, lyrics or even cover art? Again, not that I’m aware of. There are artist/labels that do try and shut down any type of copyright infringment, the ZFT isn’t one of them. The amount of copyrighted audio of Chrome Dinette is ridiculous.

  12. Psssst! Benedict! Hey, man! Over here!

    Hey listen, man, NEVER defend the ZFT around here. It doesn’t matter why.

    People will call you names!

    Wait for it……

  13. Speaking as a fan of Zappa’s for the past 25 years, who remembers the ‘dark ages’ (sic) before the web – when you’d be lucky to find any FZ albums in any major high street record store – I have to agree with Benedict’s post. Chrome Dinette is awash with links to copyrighted material (with, as the ZFT letter states, no agreement of rights for ‘performance’), so there can be absolutely no complaint on Chrome Dinette’s part. I think ZFT are perfectly within their rights to ask it to cease and desist.

    If you think they’re somehow going against the “Spirit of Frank Zappa” I don’t doubt for a minute that Frank would’ve done exactly the same. The copyright warnings on his releases were always severe, given his experiences with the likes of Warners. It’s part of the territory. Don’t conflate this issue with preconceptions about ZFT’s respect for the fans.

  14. I think ZFT are perfectly within their rights to ask it to cease and desist.”
    I think you’re right – but the main question is not WHAT they write, but HOW they usually do it. They promised a few things (interactivity, releases, answers, etc) what they did not gave, and they behave with fan-sites, tribute bands like they (we) were enemies. (If your neighbour listens to music way too loud, do you call the police at once? Wouldn’t it be better to go there and ask him, to talk about it – like humans usually do)? These pages are FOR the music, FOR a man called FZ, yes: for us, too, and – lo and behold – FOR ZFT and their income. We should co-operate in some ways. I think.

  15. Ben and Bal are right about the copyrighted material at Chrome Dinette, and are correct that Frank didn’t like violations of his copyright. But Frank is dead and no longer releasing material himself; it’s a completely different situation.

    I would suggest that most people aren’t downloading music from Chrome Dinette, but rather are simply listening before they buy – something Frank himself noted, with sadness, that one used to be able to do at record stores in his youth. And frankly, a lot of the stuff released by the ZFT is not worth buying, IMO. I’m glad I heard some of the stuff before buying, because I don’t enjoy being ripped off (BTW, I never felt ripped of by Frank’s releases).

    My bottom line is that I will still buy worthy releases from the ZFT, even if I listen first. I think I speak for most Zappa fans when I say that we would be VERY loyal little consumers if mostly good material were released – there are quite a few things that we’ve been waiting for for a very long time. What I object to is: a.) the shitty releases, and b.) the hostile attitude.

  16. If this action is to be carried through can the ZFT please ensure that all of the material produced by Frank Zappa is made available in every record store world wide?

    I live in a remote rural area of the UK and came to the works of Zappa through a radio programme on jazz.

    I headed down to my local record store only to find a small selection of his work and to be told that the rest had been “deleted”. Deleted in this case meant that particular record store chains decrees getting hold of the material is too much bother therefore the work is classified as deleted whether it is or not.

    Sites like the Chrome Dinnette give us youngsters the opportunity to hear great works we would never otherwise hear. This is the downside to copyright law and makes the ZFT and us both less well off.

  17. I have no doubt that if he were still around, FZ would himself have set the lawyers on to The Chrome Dinette long ago. But on the other hand he would also have been releasing new albums, touring, composing, doing something constructive in The Vault, and promoting his work. In those circumstances, The Chrome Dinette would quite probably not have come into existence in the first place! This is the point that the ZFT are missing: The Chrome Dinette has been filling a gap left by FZ. The ZFT should and could have done more and better things.

  18. I feel somewhat responsible for this, because I naively posted a link to the Chrome Dinette over at the forums for someone who wanted to hear ‘Imaginary Diseases’ before he bought it. I don’t know, it might have hipped the ZFT (who do lurk there occasionally) to the existence of this site.

    The ZFT is probably legally in their right to shut the site down, but the Chrome Dinette did provide an excellent service to Zappa fans. With the very poor distribution of the ZFT’s vault albums to regular stores, it _is_ very hard to ‘try before you buy’.

    Anyway, I hope this doesn’t lead to nasty financial or other consequences for John Healy.

  19. The ‘nasty financial or other consequences’ of unknown dimension was the deciding factor for me. The Dinette is offically over.

    Its been fun. Thanks to everyone for the kind words over the years.

  20. While it is my personal belief the ZFT and their minions are inept, I find it incredibly hard to believe they haven’t been aware of The Chrome Dinette all along. It’s been there quite a while. (Many thanks, John Healy!)

    It is suspiciously coincidental they have decided to take this action now, perhaps as a result of the aforementioned (almost legalese, huh?) link in the forum. Makes me wonder why they might be afraid of the prospect of an informed consumer…

    …but, yes, they are acting in accordance with the protections afforded them by copyright and other law, etc. and blah, blah, blah.

  21. You know, while I understand the ZFT’s position in this matter, I can’t help but feel like it’s the wrong course of action. Many people have presented the reasons for that already, so I’m not sure I should restate them.

    I can say, however, that it was sites like this and TCD, as well as a few other, that really helped me become familiar with the man and the music. If it weren’t for pages such as these, I might never have become a fan. For that, I really would like to thank you John, Barry, and others like yourselves for introducing me to this wonderful world. It really has changed my perception of the world.

    And John, I’m sorry to see you go. I emailed you once listing links that no longer worked…I guess that doesn’t matter much now. But thanks for making that page. And Barry, if Kill Ugly Radio happens to be next (oh, I hope not!), your work was also appreciated.

  22. Well, the ZFT has been a pain in my ass for a long time. Instead of shutting down other sites they ought to try working on thier own, the larger part of wich has not been updated in a couple of years. So Gail stop donating Frank’s money to the democrats, put the twinkies down, and get up off of your fat ass and do something worth while. How about releasing The Roxy DVD?????? I asked them where’s my DVD? Well it was eaten by snakes.
    FLAKES FLAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. “…put the twinkies down, and get up off of your fat ass and do something worth while.”

    What the fuck kind of shit is that?

    BTW…it’s spelled *worthwhile*.

  24. OK Scott, the Obi Won Kenobi of spelling Perhaps you’re a little bit too intellectual here. OH never mind, there’s always some dip shit like you on these blogs. If you don’t like it don’t read it.
    Some people take the high road, and there’s me, I take the low one. Sorry to put a wrinlkle in your perfect little word.
    What I was saying is that the ZFT money would be better spent fixing their website, and releasing Frank’s music stored in the vault. Rather than trying to crush the fans of his work.
    Enough out of me before I offend somebody, and we wouldn’t want to have that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. i think the zft should hire the chrome dinette guy. what an asset he could be. if had the same format it would serve them well. gail…think about it. as a fan since 72 i think it is best to consider the service that chrome dinette provided. i say this with only the deepest respect for frank. i wish only the best for the zappa family. the zappa plays zappa show in phoenix was more than i could have hoped for. when it comes to fz…more is way better. thats all, i have nothing more to say.

  26. I don’t care what any ass-kissing, genuflecting Zappa Family Trust-boosting weasel says: Gail Zappa and The Zappa Family Trust are out of control, and full of shit, to boot. Closing The Chrome Dinette down with a cease and desist order is the worst sort of excessive, avaricious, tawdry, money-hungry slime. Fucking lawyers and greedy little parasite corporate skunks like the ZFT own this country now. Don’t anyone dare try to claim that the family is broke and hurting for cash. Take one look at a recent picture of Gail and you can see she looks pretty well-fed. Just because the rest of the family is talentless and obviously resentful doesn’t mean that fans of Frank’s music should be blindsided like this. Money is the new sex, isn’t it folks? Gimme, Gimme, Gimme…

  27. Plus, Gail Zappa is, nowadays, a close, personal friend of Tipper Fucking Gore! What a smack in the face to Frank, especially, and to everyone’s artistic freedom in general. Maybe Gail could get her fat ass a job as Tipper’s jack-booted assistant. Obese, money-hungry disgusting hypocrite who has nothing but contempt for Frank’s fans because she’s a nothing, hack secretary, with a bunch of atrociously naive, corrupt, and stupid ideas. Everything’s for sale, baby! Keep on ringin’ the ol’ cash register.

    “Wait! Wait! I just found a pair of Frank’s personally soiled underpants in the vault! Never been washed! They still have the skid marks from Frank’s last bowel movement! First hundred bucks takes them!”

  28. Yes, yes, yes. The ZFT is well within their rights. Face it…they are a business, nothing more, nothing less. What I find interesting, though, is that a “advertising agency” has been doing the covers for all the ZFT albums since Frank’s death. Hmmm. Lawyers. Admen. Copywriters. Sounds rather Republican to me folks!

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