Earlier this year, we wrote about how publishing giant Reed Elsevier had decided to sue the band The Vandals
, for supposedly violating a previous agreement not to use an album logo that parodied Reed's publication, Daily Variety:
While the band had agreed not to use the logo, images with the logo were being found on various websites, but it was other sites using it, not the band promoting it itself. Furthermore, it's clearly a parody, which should be legal (though it's complicated by the band's agreement to stop using the logo, so the contractual issues take precedence over the trademark/parody questions). What's amazing is that after all the negative attention being put on Reed over such a ridiculously minor issue, the company refuses to back down
and is still pushing forward with the case. It's difficult to see why this makes sense in any way. Reed is a publishing giant. It hardly needs to win this lawsuit, and it's got nothing to do with protecting its trademark any more. Besides, this lawsuit has done a hell of a lot more to promote the old logo than anything that happened before.
Where this gets even more interesting (or potentially dangerous, depending on your opinion), is that the band's bassist, Joe Escalante, is a former entertainment lawyer who is representing the band in the case. Despite not being a litigator, he's been learning about litigation and even got himself admitted to practice law in Delaware, where the lawsuit was filed (the band is trying to get the case moved to LA). Escalante has been publicizing all of the aspects of the case, and the band is even holding a "fundraising" concert to fund the legal defense.