Say what you will about Jerry Only’s current incarnation of the Misfits. (Like the simple fact that they’re lame, and have got nothing on the original lineup that ended way back in 1983.) One thing that’s indisputable is the bassist’s savvy marketing/continued exploitation of the band’s iconic logo and all the merchandise that goes along with it. One person who realizes that is former frontman Glenn Danzig, who filed a lawsuit last April citing a breach of contract around the group’s trademarked likeness.
Well Judge Gary Klausner has now thrown Danzig’s case out of court, saying (via Ultimate Classic Rock), “The terms of the provision do not address any obligation regarding trademark registration or negotiations with individual retail merchandisers. Moreover, in reviewing the other provisions contained in the 1994 Agreement, the Court also finds no other terms that govern the parties’ conduct as it pertains to trademarking and licensing.” Or to put it in plain English, Only has the right to ruin the Misfits name as much as he wants — whether it’s through touring or T-shirts — and he doesn’t have to report any money earned through doing so to Danzig.
Here’s a much more detailed statement on the matter by the Misfits, which was posted on Alternative Press in May:
In 1995, Misfits founding member Jerry Only secured the exclusive legal right to tour and record as the Misfits, and, in accordance with those legal rights, launched a licensing program through Cyclopian Music. At the same time, Glenn Anzalone—professionally known as Glenn Danzig (former co-founder and Misfits vocalist circa 1977 to 1983) —made clear that he wanted no public association with the Misfits or Cyclopian Music’s business endeavors.
Despite full knowledge of Cyclopian Music’s use of the Misfits’ name and logos for decades, Glenn Danzig curiously filed a lawsuit on April 3rd, 2014 seeking a portion of the proceeds from Cyclopian Music’s activities with which he has had no involvement whatsoever. Danzig’s lawsuit can only be described as a sour grapes tantrum based on outrageous allegations, the majority of which are completely false, while others are ill conceived and grossly misguided—and will be proven false in court. Reports of Glenn Danzig’s lawsuit and the falsehoods within it, however, have resulted in the dissemination of misinformation regarding the nature of Glenn Danzig’s baseless claims and Cyclopian Music’s rights.
For example, Jerry Only and Cyclopian are under no obligation, legal, contractual or otherwise, to obtain consent, or approvals of any kind, from former member Glenn Danzig in connection with their use of the Misfits name or logos. Apparently Danzig’s own product line doesn’t sell as well as he might like, but the fact of the matter remains that Jerry Only and Cyclopian Music’s Misfits licenses, business activity and merchandising endeavors are 100% lawful and consistent with their legal rights.
To be clear, Glenn Danzig has no legal right to, and no interest in, Cyclopian’s Misfits licenses or business ventures period. Danzig’s lawsuit is nothing more than a calculated attempt to unfairly and improperly enrich himself from revenue streams to which he is not entitled.
Tell your children not to walk Glenn’s way, indeed.