Universal Music Threatens Abba Tribute Bands

from the let-me-explain-the-word dept

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it won't stop Universal Music from sending their legal dogs after you. Reader Jamie points us to the news that Universal Music is threatening a bunch of Abba tribute bands for using the Abba name. Universal is claiming that people are "being misled" by the tribute bands -- though, it's not clear how many people actually go see a tribute band thinking it's the real thing. Either way, the whole concept seems pretty silly. Here are these bands that are helping to promote the original music and the real band for Universal, and they're trying to stop them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    You haven't lived until you've heard the heavy metal tribute to Abba.

    On the basis that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    I wonder when they'll get around to suing Mahmoud Abbas or Indian actor Abbas Ali?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    The record companies don't like tribute bands. They don't get any money from it, only the songwriter does. So they will do anything they can to stop them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    whatabout the show/film mama mia? the question must be asked what cdo ABBA themselves think?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Kurata, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Reminds me of Blizzard suing fansites for copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Dick Wiggles, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re:

    Being that they were involved with the production of the play - ABBA's all in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    So how does a tribute band promote creative?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Sahlgren (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Does Universal Music own the name ABBA? I thought that belonged to the actual band. What if a tribute band called themselves Addis Abbaba? BLABBA?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    Tribute Bands don't "promote creative". Hell, they don't even promote creativity. But they do raise awareness for the original band and drive record sales up for that group.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    "Does Universal Music own the name ABBA? I thought that belonged to the actual band. What if a tribute band called themselves Addis Abbaba? BLABBA?"

    Tell that to the artist formerly known by his actual first name Prince.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:40am

    SO no one listen, create fan bands , or buy anything abba related anymore

    thats what this is telling me

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: SO no one listen, create fan bands , or buy anything abba related anymore

    Shouldn't be too hard for 99% of the population.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

    Re: SO no one listen, create fan bands , or buy anything abba related anymore

    close but not quite.

    what its saying is no one can listen, create fan bands or buy anything abba related unless universal (and i do mean directly universal and NOT the original band members) gets a rather healthy cut of the pie, in which case thats all totally okay & good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

    ABBA

    No surprise here, unfortunately. It was ABBA that sued the KLF those many moons ago.

    Instead, they give their blessing to incredibly uncreative uses of their samples. Like Maddonna's "Hung Up," which is basically "Gimme Gimme Gimme" through a low-pass filter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    Not very creative tribute bands

    There are quite a few tribute bands circulating these days and the ones I am aware of don't use the name of the band they are imitating. So I can't say I feel too sorry for the ones who aren't smart enough to come up with something more clever than using the original band's name as part of their own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Someantimalwareguy, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Re: SO no one listen, create fan bands , or buy anything abba related anymore

    When I was younger, I played in a Pink Floyd tribute band but named ourselves after an older PF tune "Crazy Diamond". This eliminated the chance of stepping on any infringement issues as the name suggested what we were playing.

    Also, all marketing included explicit text regarding the fact that we were a tribute band and not the real thing...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Technopolitical (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    from the cited article :
    http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/blogs/behind_the_music/8794/abba-tribute-acts-face-ruin/

    "Lawyer s from the label's Swedish branch have sent out notices to 15 tribute groups demanding they stop trading off the Abba name, calling it an infringement of the band's intellectual property rights."

    "We've had complaints from all over the world where fans feel they've been misled and we feel it's our duty to protect the Abba brand from misuse," explained an official spokesman for Universal."

    ----------------

    One : i do not know Swedish Law , so , i will not go there.

    Two :It is a fuzzy line ,between , tribute band ,, and just a bunch of guy s, who sound like the band,

    There are 5000 Bob Dylan wannabes in NYC alone,

    no one bills themselves the "bobby dylan tribute show" -
    -- Though till this day his songs are 20- 50 % of what i play when i busk.

    The key is respect # one ,

    and $$ # two.

    If Dylan feels my public covers of his tunes damage him --- a claim some fans of his may make :) -- there is really not much Bob can do -- as long as i pay any royalties due ( or the bar where i perform does really.)

    But if I am really capitalizing on Bob , scoring bigger $$$, and clearly using Bob in a exploitative way,, then Bob 's lawyer (-- who use to belong to my synagogue, when i lived elsewhere ---) will call me , and say pay up , or chill out.

    I will say have Bob call me himself, :)

    The lawyer , will laugh , and say , pay up, or see you in court.

    The judge will decide.
    ----------------
    It is fuzzy ,

    When it is fair use , when it is not fair use.

    99 out of 100 cases ,, Bob don't care,, Woody Guthrie did not sue Bob.

    but there is a line -- somewhere -- that can get crossed ,, and , if crossed in bad faith---- court time.
    =========================

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Dolores, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 6:31pm

    ABBA Tribute Bands

    I had the most fortunate experience of attending the first party of the 56th International Galway Festival which featured a Abba Tribute band, "Abbaesque". They were fantastic lto the US.

    For me to buy a CD is quite unusual. I don't itune or ipod, etc. Why would anyone be dopey and get upset with lawsuits when you have free publicity. ABBA wake up and fire your lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Feb 6th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Legal threat

    I think the threats are really stupid. The group ABBA disbanded in around 1983. Various tribute groups have been playing ABBA music for over 20 years. Because of this ABBA revival, many more ABBA discs etc have been sold giving the owners of the ABBA material more profits. I doubt that Mamma Mia would have existed without these ABBA tribute groups. This means more profits for the owners of the ABBA material.
    Why do they wish to destroy the groups that are giving them these profits?
    Additionally, I have seen 2 different ABBA tribute groups perform. They gave great shows. At no time did I confuse them with the originals.The people who are getting confused make no sense.
    Let the tribute groups do their thing. The good ones will survive and the bad ones will die out. Ane the ABBA owners should stop being so greedy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This