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  1. "Guns N’ Roses recently kicked off their massive “We’re F’N’ Back!” North American tour, and they’re aiming to reap as many spoils from it as possible, in part by filing lawsuits that prevent vendors from selling bootleg T-shirts that will eat into the band’s merchandise profits, Bloomberg reports. Bootleggers are a common sight outside large-scale concerts, often prowling venue parking lots and selling facsimiles of official concert shirts for a fraction of the price. Global Merchandising Services Ltd., which retains exclusive rights to sell Guns N’ Roses’ merchandise at U.S. concerts, has filed lawsuits in cities on the band’s itinerary to prevent these vendors from hawking their illicit wares. “These bootleggers are, plainly and simply, parasites who wrongfully profit from the tremendous energies and reputations of performers,” Global Merchandising lawyer Kenneth Feinswog said in a New Jersey court filing from Aug. 2, three days before the band played at East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium. The case lists singer Axl Rose (W. Axl Rose), guitarist Slash (Saul Hudson) and bassist Duff McKagan (Michael McKagan) as plaintiffs along with Global Merchandising. Rose, Slash and McKagan formed three-fifths of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup and own the band trademark. Feinswog added that “during the past 35 years of tremendous commercial growth of popular music,” music fans have “sought to identify themselves with and declare allegiance to their favorite performers by purchasing various articles of merchandise, t-shirts, patches, posters, photographs, jerseys, caps, belt buckles, jackets and other items that embody the names, photos, likenesses, logos, trademarks and/or artwork of such performers.” This declaration of allegiance “is the reason why fans will pay more than $35.00 for a t-shirt displaying the performer's name or likeness which t-shirt might otherwise retail (without such name or likeness) for $4.00.” Feinswog also said bootleggers “misappropriate the names, likenesses, logos, symbols, artwork and/or trademarks of performing artists and musical groups” and claimed, "To add insult to injury, the merchandise that the bootleggers manufacture and sell is, in most instances, of inferior quality and not only violates Plaintiffs' rights but adversely affects the general public and irreparably injures the performers' reputations for excellence and integrity in the pursuit of their professional careers.” Official concert merchandise is an enormously profitable venture for a band of Guns N’ Roses’ stature. Court filings show that the band has generated more than $15 million in merchandise. Apparel on the band’s official webstore ranges from $15 face masks to $500 leather jackets, while concert merchandise includes posters, hats, city-exclusive tee shirts and more". "Still, the band’s strategy to target street-level bootleggers on its current tour is unorthodox. Jayne Durden, vice president of law firm strategy at Boston-based intellectual property management firm Anaqua, said it’s more common for artists to go after the distributors of these unofficial products. “This is Whac-A-Mole, but with a massive paddle that makes some noise,” she told Bloomberg. Rather than pursue the bootleggers for money, Guns N’ Roses received court orders in Boston and New Jersey that allowed police and federal marshals to seize bootleg merchandise within a certain vicinity of the venues in the six hours leading up to the shows and three hours preceding them. So far, the orders appear to be successful: Security seized 417 bootleg shirts outside the band’s East Rutherford concert and 240 outside its Detroit show a few days later, court documents show. Rose, Slash, McKagan and Global Merchandising have also reportedly asked a federal judge in New Jersey for a blanket seizure order that would apply to the rest of their tour dates, which include arenas and stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. This type of lawsuit is not unique to Guns N’ Roses. In 2018, Global Merchandising filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of the metal band Slayer at the beginning of their farewell tour. Live Nation sought a similar court order for Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzfest in 2010, as did AC/DC on their 2016 tour. Guns N’ Roses’ current North American tour will run through mid-October and is expected to draw an estimated 400,000 fans. They’ll travel to Australia and New Zealand in November and will traverse Europe in 2022. With a new single, “Absurd,” out now and their classic hits streaming in the billions, it would not appear that any member of Guns N’ Roses is strapped for cash, bootleggers be damned". http://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrolli/2021/08/14/guns-n-roses-file-lawsuit-to-thwart-sales-of-bootleg-concert-shirts/
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