The Vandals are being sued by publishing giant Reed Elsevier (owner of the Hollywood trade publication Daily Variety) because the band parodied the publication’s logo on thier 2004 album, Hollywood Potato Chip. When the album art first surfaced in 2004, The Vandals were issued a Cease and Desist order from the publisher. An agreement was made to change the logo on the album cover and remove the original artwork from any websites the band has control of.  In the bands own words:

“We agreed not to use this logo anymore and we have no product for sale with this logo so their claims that we are intentionally using it and harming the Daily Variety are ludicrous.

We do not have this logo, or any other of their logos on any of our sites under our control. They are telling us that it is still on the Internet but they wont tell us where it is. Instead, they have demanded a HUGE sum of money. I mean HUGE, OUTRAGEOUS, and IMPOSSIBLE TO RAISE; and $25,000 for their attorneys to cover all the damages they have suffered from what they call a breach of our settlement agreement.
We agreed not to use this logo anymore and we have no product for sale with this logo so their claims that we are intentionally using it and harming the Daily Variety are ludicrous.We do not have this logo, or any other of their logos on any of our sites under our control. They are telling us that it is still on the Internet but they wont tell us where it is. Instead, they have demanded a HUGE sum of money. I mean HUGE, OUTRAGEOUS, and IMPOSSIBLE TO RAISE; and $25,000 for their attorneys to cover all the damages they have suffered from what they call a breach of our settlement agreement.We have breached nothing. We are just a punk band and a small insolvent record label trying to keep stuff on the shelves and pay royalties to other artists.”

The Vandals are now considering legal action against Daily Variety “To lift the permanent injunction against us using the original logo for Hollywood Potato Chip because after reading the public filing against us by the daily variety it is clear they are abusing this injunction to shake us down for money.”  The band contends that “by filing against us when there are no prohibited images on any sites under our control, they have breached the settlement agreement between us.”

At this point, it is a question of how bad Reed Elsevier is going to make itself look. The Vandals could have fought the original action on the grounds that the art was parody and therefore not a copyright infringement. Instead, they were graceful and agreed to change the image (which they did.) Six years later, this is the thanks they receive? Do the powers that be at Reed Elsevier really think The Vandals are worth big money? Read The Vandal’s complete statement on the matter here.

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