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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: frank zappa, gail zappa, germany, trademark, zappanale

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Dave, 28 Jan 2009 @ 8:49pm

    she's full of it

    You know, I love Zappa's music. And he was a very funny, intelligent, and thought-provoking guy as well as an excellent composer.

    But that lawsuit is pure BS. So let me get this straight. If anybody has a Zappa festival anywhere, they have to pay her some money. Jesus H. Christ. She's just trying to keep the gravy train going, like Yoko Ono. He made millions, and unless he spent it all, she should have been set for life, barring sheer stupidity.

    And as Techdirt points out, a Zappa festival anywhere will tend to make her money, not take it away. Unless she gets so much bad publicity for being a jerk that people decide not to buy stuff.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.