TRADE MARK / CONTRACT
Live events sector
Legal Music, the promoter of the successful Spanish festival SOS 4.8, has accused the Murcian government of illegally laying claim to the name of the event, and indeed the event itself, which it is says it is “sole and rightful owner” which has featured a host if international artistes over the last nine years including Pulp, Morrissey, The National, PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand, The Flaming Lips, Mogwai, The XX, Bloc Party, M83, Pet Shop Boys, Damon Albarn and Phoenix.
In December 2016, Legal Music announced the April 2017 edition of SOS 4.8 would not go ahead following the withdrawal of funding from the Autonomous Community of Murcia (Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, Carm), and the promoter accused the authority of violating its sponsorship agreement with the festival. It then emerged that Carm had trademarked the SOS 4.8 name in 2008, apparently without informing Legal Music, and Carm then said the festival would go ahead with or without Legal Music’s participation, and that Murcia would “not yield to any kind of threats” from Legal Music” adding that Carm was “the sponsor of SOS 4.8 and the owner of the brand”.
In turn Legal Music issued a statement saying the “attitude of the Ministry [of Culture of Murcia] is irrational and is jeopardising the viability and quality of an internationally successful festival” and “We want to remember and insist that LegalMusic is the sole and rightful owner of SOS 4.8, and the festival is the main asset of this company” and “Therefore, no one can stage this event without Legal Music.”
In an added twist Legal Music, which was declared insolvent in early January, has now filed a series of lawsuits against Murcia’s Ministry of Culture and Portavocía (office of the government’s spokespeople) “in order to defend not only the legitimate interests of Legal Music, but also the general interests of citizens against the arbitrariness of the government”.