Published Feb 15, 2012California punkers the Vandals' legal woes with trade publication Variety have been lifted with news that the magazine has dropped its trademark infringement case against the group.
Filed in 2010, the suit had Variety suing the band over an old version of their 2004 album Hollywood Potato Chip, whose artwork parodied the publication's familiar logo. The band had altered the cover after receiving a cease-and-desist order, but were sued when images of the original surfaced online, though not on the Vandals' actual website.
Vandals bassist Joe Escalante, who doubles as an entertainment lawyer, this week told the Hollywood Reporter that Variety agreed to settle the suit out of court, and the punk band will not be required to pay a cash settlement. Variety, meanwhile, has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Escalante, who provided legal representation for the band, explains that the two-year battle took its toll on the Vandals.
"This was the worst thing that's ever happened to me, and to the band, and the hardest thing I've ever done," he said. "However, as my wife says, the crash course in federal court litigation made me a better lawyer."
The Vandals had previously criticized Variety for trying to "shake us down for money," explaining that the images that appeared online were not on their official website, and had asked that the trial be moved from the originally proposed trial grounds of Delaware to federal court in California so the band wouldn't have to face travel expenses.
"The Plaintiffs should all be ashamed and it is the Vandals opinion that they are liable for malpractice damages by ruining their client's reputation in a frivolous attempt to act like Godzilla when it comes to hoarding their precious font and inhibiting protected free speech," the act had said in a statement at the time.