Variety Loses Ground in Vandals Lawsuit

<i>Variety</i> Loses Ground in Vandals Lawsuit
Entertainment trade publication Variety has suffered a blow in its trademark infringement lawsuit against aging Orange County punks the Vandals, with the case being moved to Federal Court in California instead of the originally proposed trial grounds of Delaware.

Back in 2004, the band used a parody of the famous Variety logo on the cover of their album Hollywood Potato Chip but were soon issued a cease-and-desist order from the publication. The group agreed to a settlement and changed the artwork. However, the band were sued by Variety last spring for breach of contract when the company saw the image back up on the internet. The Vandals claimed they had nothing to do with what was up on the web, adding that Variety was trying to "shake us down for money."

Bassist Joe Escalante, who, being a lawyer, is representing the band, asked to have the case transferred from the Delaware court system to Los Angeles as a matter of convenience. This was so the band wouldn't have to cover travelling costs, not to mention find a high-priced Delaware-based lawyer. A new court order has ruled in Escalante's favour and the band are ecstatic.

A blog posting from the outfit applauds the decision, explaining that the courts felt that Variety "wasted the court's time and their client's money by trying to burden the punk band with huge legal fees to extort money out of them. And remember, the Vandals are representing themselves, without counsel, in Federal Court!"

The statement continues: "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."

A court date has not yet been set for the case, but for now, it appears that the scales of justice are tipped in the Vandals' favour.

Thanks to the L.A. Times/The Daily Swarm for the tip.