Member of Black Flag, Greg Ginn, has sued fellow members of FLAG including Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Bill Stevenson, Stephen Egerton and Henry Rollins. The lawsuit has now become an official statement via Exclaim.
Although Ginn has pleaded he is not trying to stop FLAG from touring, but instead is more focused on the sale of “bootleg items”.
Morris and Rollins’ have attempted on several occasions to gain rights to the Black Flag trademark, however, it has been owned by Ginn and SST Records for sometime now.
Fighting for the Black Flag trademark has not been an easy task in the past. Gin writes:
The dispute over Black Flag is not motivated by an effort to stop anyone from covering Black Flag songs. Quite to the contrary. This dispute began when Henry Garfield (Rollins) and Keith Morris made an effort to hijack the name — and the logo — for their own use. Behind everyone’s back, in September 2012, Garfield and Morris filed fraudulent trademark applications in which they are claiming to own the name and the logo. Had we not taken action, this pair could have snuck these false applications through the Trademark Office, enabling them to stop Black Flag from playing and gaining exclusive use of the name and logo for themselves. We are also trying to stop Morris and the others in his band from using the name and the logo in a misleading way, and from selling bootleg items.
In a statement from Ginn’s lawyer to MTV Hive, he stated:
“They forced us to do this, because not only do we need to bring an opposition to the trademark application in the trademark office, but we also need to bring what’s called a cancellation action for cancellation of the existing mark — for the four bars. Then we also found out that they’re also selling bootleg T-shirts on the tour and then they started — about halfway through the tour — they started using the actual bars, not the even bars, but the uneven bars. It’s like they ratcheted up their usage of the Black Flag materials and it came to a point where we couldn’t not sue them.”
Keith Morris speaks out in defense saying,
We’ve done nothing wrong. Every step of the way, we’ve all talked to each other–“we’re going to do this,” or “we’re not going to do that”– we know what he is capable of doing and we’re not scared, we’re not shaking in our shoes, we’re not going to be bullied. We’ll just proceed forward. We live our lives, and whatever the outcome is, we’re good guys, we’ve done nothing wrong, so we don’t really have to worry about anything.