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Litigation focus: pop icon Fleetwood Mac’s merchandising clout

If you’re a pop music fan, you undoubtedly know Fleetwood Mac. Stemming back half a century, the music authored by that rock group’s varying configurations has influenced generations of listeners and sold scores of millions of records.

In short, Mac is marketable.

That continues to be a relevant and important fact, given the timeless act’s recent decision to once again hit the road on an extended tour. The band kicked off performances back in October, with its 50 city-plus run scheduled to end in April next year.

Unquestionably, lots of tickets are being scarfed up. Reportedly, one recent concert grossed the band nearly $2 million.

Far more than tickets are at issue where Fleetwood Mac is concerned, though. There are also things like T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, key chains, posters and other assorted paraphernalia to think about. Displays set up at performance venues that sell Mac-linked items rake in a virtual fortune.

A question links with that, though, namely this: For whom?

That is the spotlighted issue in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed late last month in a California federal court. The plaintiff is huge entertainment company Live Nation, which asserts sole rights to make and sell Fleetwood Mac merchandise. It claims that another party has unlawfully intruded on its prerogatives by setting up shop at concert venues. Live Nation seeks an injunction in the matter, as well as damages it claims it is owed.

Live Nation’s indignation and legal action is understandable. As we note on our website at the long-established Los Angeles entertainment law Offices of Barry K. Rothman, “Tie-ins between artists … and commercial products offer vital opportunities for profit.”

Duly licensed parties holding intellectual property rights reasonably expect to gain advantage from their association with performers. Our attorneys help them secure the benefits they are owed.

We welcome contacts to the firm concerning questions regarding any aspect of entertainment law.

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