Ozzy Osbourne Sues Over Rights To Black Sabbath Name

OZZY OSBOURNE SUES OVER RIGHTS TO BLACK SABBATH NAME

May 29, 2009

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzie Osbourne has sued his former band mate Tony Iommi over the ownership of the group’s name.

Osbourne, 60, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York, on Tuesday accusing the guitarist of falsely claiming to be the sole owner of the Black Sabbath name, his representatives said on Friday.

He is also seeking a share of the interest in the Black Sabbath trademark and a cut of the profits that Iommi earned while touring under the Black Sabbath name in the 1990s when the British heavy metal band was in disarray after numerous changes to their lineup.

Osbourne said in a statement issued on Friday that he was sorry he had gone to the court over the dispute with Iommi which he said he had tried for three years to resolve amicably.

Imommi performed in clubs under the Black Sabbath name after Osbourne was thrown out of the band. The original four members — Osbourne, Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward — reunited in 1997 and Black Sabbath was inducted in the UK and US Rock&Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006.

Osbourne said in a statement that it was thanks to the efforts of his management representatives over the past 12 years that “the name ‘Black Sabbath’ now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour.”

“We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing,” Osbourne said.

Ozzy Osbourne’s official statement:

“It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long term partner, Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse. As of the mid-1990’s, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of ‘Black Sabbath’ was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name Black Sabbath) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997 when Geezer, Bill and myself rejoined the band, Black Sabbath has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name ‘Black Sabbath’ which lead to the band being inducted into the UK and US Rock & Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the ‘Black Sabbath’ brand through OZZFEST, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name ‘Black Sabbath’ now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour. Tony, I am so sorry it’s had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don’t have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60’s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing.”

Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com and www.reuters.com