Pledge Music: Dweezil Zappa and the Others of Intention: For the Rights to My Name
He's raising funds to oppose the Zappa Family Trust's trademark application for the Zappa name.
What a revolting situation. And yeah, it probably won't surprise you to know I'm with Dweezil; the very idea of abusing trademark law to try to prevent a guy from using his own name is madness. Dweezil's clearly in the right here, and has been for the past year this has been going on. The ZFT's relying on classic bully tactics here -- Dweezil's in the right legally but has neither the money nor the inclination to fight them in court, so he's backed off using both the Zappa Plays Zappa mark (which he probably has a legitimate claim to as the only person who's ever actually used it) and the Frank Zappa name (which is descriptive; it is not a trademark violation to say that you are performing the music of Frank Zappa if you are performing the music of Frank Zappa
). Now that they're trying to prevent him from using his own
name, they've basically forced his hand; he has
to fight back now, and he's raising the funds to do it.
Aside from the fundamental rightness of what Dweezil's raising money for, the guy's a great damn guitar player, and I like his original work well enough that I'm happy to spend $15 to get a FLAC download of his latest album.
Though I'm sure hoping this all blows over and he gets to start comercially releasing his covers of his father's work again. I picked up the ZPZ DVD set on eBay recently and it really is fantastic.
I'd like to see him prevail in court and, hopefully, to get a ruling that knocks some sense into his siblings. I think they're basically decent people but I think they've gotten some bad advice from some lawyers who don't have their best interests at heart. And even if I believe the worst of them and that they really are Only In It for the Money, they're not doing a very good job of working in their own financial interest; alienating the only family member who's got the chops to actually go out there and play Frank's music is not a sound moneymaking strategy.