German Court Allows Frank Zappa Festival To Continue, Despite Protests From Zappa's Wife
from the celebrate-the-music dept
Frank Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, has been rather aggressive over the years in “protecting” the intellectual property associated with Frank Zappa and his music. Most recently, she tried to stop the very popular Zappanale festival, held each year in Bad Doberan, Germany. The festival has gone on for 19 years (this will be the 20th) and celebrates all things related to Frank Zappa. Last year, nearly 10,000 Zappa fans showed up. But, Gail Zappa apparently was quite upset by this, and sued the organizers for trademark infringement, demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for daring to celebrate her husband’s music without a license. Reader Clive Lines writes in to point out that a German court has ruled against Zappa, allowing the Zappanale to continue — noting that Gail Zappa had no legitimate trademark claim, since she had not used the Zappa trademark in Germany. The court also noted that the logo used by the event organizers (involving Zappa’s combo mustache/soul-patch) is allowed to remain as well — as it’s significantly different than the “official” Zappa logo, meaning there is unlikely to be much confusion.