Rock Legends Sue Over Graham-Sourced Recordings
Some of rock'n'roll's biggest names have teamed up to sue the owner of a Web site that specializes in streaming rare concert recordings. Wolfgang's Vault offers thousands of recordings of rare audio aSome of rock'n'roll's biggest names have teamed up to sue the owner of a Web site that specializes in streaming rare concert recordings. Wolfgang's Vault offers thousands of recordings of rare audio and video performances collected over 30 years by legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, who died in 1991.
Yesterday (Dec. 18), major rock names, including Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana and members of Led Zeppelin and the Doors, sued the current owner, claiming it was illegally offering recordings to stimulate sales of other products. Wolfgang's Vault representatives were not immediately available for comment.
The site also sells T-shirts, pictures and memorabilia such as vintage concert posters and tickets. It derives its name from Graham's given name, Wolfgang Grajonca.
The recordings were made at concert performances by a wide array of artists, from Bob Marley to Bob Dylan. The site's collection has been described by some industry watchers as one of the most important groupings of rock memorabilia and recordings ever assembled in one business.
The suit was filed at the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against William Sagan, who bought the assets of Graham for $5 million from Clear Channel Entertainment more than three years ago.
"Sagan simply doesn't have the legal rights to exploit and profit from the extraordinary success of these musicians," Jeff Reeves, who represents the artists, said in a statement.
"We have never given permission for our images and material to be used in this way," Grateful Dead member Bob Weir added. "What Sagan is doing is stealing. He is stealing what is most important to us - our work, our images and our music - and is profiting from the good will of our fans."
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