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


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  1. identicon
    KC, 17 Dec 2009 @ 8:06pm

    Reply to Ima Fish

    Gail has gotten so damned sue happy & goes after absolutely anyone & everyone who plays his music or even wants to do something to celebrate the man. She even shot down the city of Berlin wanting to name a street in his honor because she didn't like the fan club that had helped to get support to do so. I get very mad at her because she is among the rest of the idiotic "Hollywood Elite" that Frank utterly despised & treats the former band members like crap & will sue them too if they DARE play the music that is in any way connected to Frank. She & the kids are entitled to capitalize on his music, but refuses to help support the musicians who helped make those fantastic songs. When she set out to punish ALL fans for the actions of a few bootleggers by releasing the "Beat the Boots" series instead of continuing the "You Can't Do That..." series, I grew very disenchanted with the whole Zappa clan. It's sad that I may never be able to replace my lost, stolen, or badly damaged CDs bought way back in the 1980s when the technology was new all because she wants to punish the fans & while Dweezil is a great guitarist in his own rights, he's not Frank & I don't want to buy his albums as a sort of placebo to make up for wanting to hear such albums as "Them or Us." Gail bitches about people making money & abusing the copyrights, blah blah blah, but as I know her only interest in not allowing ANYONE to perform Frank's music or do something nice such as having this festival is because she feels she's not going to get ALL of the money made. Frank is probably spinning in his grave as the family has not taken advantage of the internet & helping to keep his music available to all, as "Ima" points out what the surviving members of Monty Python had done. If she hates large corporations like iTunes which would give the Zappa Family Trust pennies to the dollar of what they get in making the music digitally available & wants to capitalize on it, they could easily set up a page on the Zappa site which sells the music in MP3 form or make it free to those of us who loved Frank's or those who want to hear it for the 1st time, yet she's "only in it for the money!"

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