According to The Hollywood Reporter, ” [Ginn] claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and infamous logo, which Flag [Dez Cadena, Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson,and Stephen Egerton] use on tour.
“He sued his 1979-mid 1980s bandmates Friday, seeking an injunction against their current tour, which kicked off in May and will stop in Los Angeles (pending this case) for FYF Fest on August 24. The suit describes the alleged infringement of the logo and name “Flag” as “a colorable imitation” that’s “likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers.”
Plus, according to the lawsuit, Chuck Dukowski (aka Gary McDaniel) reached a settlement with Ginn in 2007 in which Dukowski promised to “never perform under, make use of, or profit from the marks,” as they refer to the Black Flag bars. Also according to the lawsuit, on September 12, 2012 Keith Morris and Henry Rollins (aka Garfield) filed for copyright of the Black Flag bars and the written logo BLACK FLAG.
The only question is why Ginn didn’t sue them sooner. It had seemed like it was going to be an exciting battle of the bands,with the winner emerging triumphant. Maybe Ginn had to get over his denial and accept the popularity of the band he recently accused of “phoning it in.” Nowhere in the suit does it ban FLAG from playing Black Flag songs, only from using the name and logo. They could probably tour under the name “GINN” and people would still flock to see them. Has he trademarked that yet?
But here’s the weird part – Why did Henry file for copyright? He has announced in The LA Weekly that he has quit playing music for good. Maybe Ginn wanted him to remove his Black Flag tattoo. “Your forearm is infringing on my copyright!!!”
How ironic that a logo representing anarchy is subject to such corporate capitalism. Will Ginn have to sue his own brother, Raymond Ginn, aka Pettibon, for drawing the logo in the first place?