Der Zappa Krappa: Family Loses Lawsuit

The ever-litigious
Gail Zappa strikes out this time around…

By Fred Mills

Some time ago Frank Zappa’s estate, headed up by widow Gail
Zappa, sued the German Frank Zappa fan club over the use of the late composer’s
name in their annual get-together in called the Zappanale festival. She’d filed
for damages of $325,000 and demanded the removal of a bronze sculpture of FZ.
Last week, however a German court ruled against Zappa, saying that her “rights
were not violated and that she could not prove she uses the Zappa brand in
Germany herself [and] has had knowledge of the festival since it began in
1990.”

The festival organizers are free to continue on with the
festival as well as use Zappa’s image on festival-related logos and merch. Said
Zappa fan club president Thomas Dippel, “We have always been certain that
we have the older rights,” he said. “We have also patented the name
of the festival with the German patent office. Gail Zappa only applied for the
patent of her own rights in 2002.”

The 2009 festival takes place August 12-16 in Bad Doberan
and will feature a number of bands performing Zappa music.

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