October 29, 2004

Sunset Scavenger: Claiming Trademark Violation by DJ Zeph
Because you might confuse garbage collection with music...

sunset_scavenger.jpgIntellectual property has so metastasized as an idea for clamping down on all expression, it's gone from Disney protecting mickey, to the garbage company protecting its trucks and name. Wide Hive Records, producer for DJ Zeph, got sued for trademark infringement for use of this image on the CD cover of DJ's latest record, Sunset Salvage, nee Sunset Scavenger. This is the original cover.

Apparently, after the CD was released, Sunset Scavenger, the GARBAGE collection company for San Francisco and the definition of totally clueless, decided they thought their customers might get confused between garbage collection and hip hop music, so they sued to force Wide Hive/DJ Zeph from using both a photo of their garbage trucks, and the title of the CD which is also their company name: Sunset Scavenger. Though I don't think Sunset Scavenger has much of a case (I've never confused hip hop with garbage collection, though there is hip hop music that some people might call garbage), who wants to mess with a garbage company?

I mean, isn't this the proverbial leg-breaking strong-arm business? Would you want to fight with a garbage company over the censorship of your artwork and commentary? To impress on upon them the subtleties of free speech and cultural expression, free publicity and a kind of hipness like they'll never otherwise know? The difference between garbage and entertainment?

Gregory Howe, Wide Hive Records founder and CEO said, "...we thought the likelihood of confusion was non-existent, but we couldn't afford to get dragged through the courts to defend ourselves in the kind of battle that can often take years to resolve."

sunset_salvage.jpg This is the new cover artwork and new name that Wide Hive now is promoting for DJ Zeph:

Note, if you're lucky, you all bought a first run copy of the CD ... with its now highly collectable artwork. If not, might check eBay to see if the old one is available in a second sale... otherwise, go the Wide Hive and buy the new one directly from them. Songs online for free listening include Floorwax, Shake It On Down (Featuring Boots from "The Coup") and Underscore. Free MP3's make us purrrrrrrr.

Also, iTunes is carrying some of DJ Zeph's work.

Posted by Mary Hodder at October 29, 2004 07:31 AM | TrackBack

Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. Stephen Vizinczey

Posted by: at December 14, 2004 10:18 AM