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.

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Companies: universal music

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Comments on “Universal Music Threatens Abba Tribute Bands”

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harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

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.

Someantimalwareguy says:

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…

Technopolitical (profile) says:

from the cited article :

“Lawyers 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.

Dolores says:

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.

Stuart says:

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.

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