OZZY SPEAKS ABOUT BLACK SABBATH TRADEMARK ISSUE | The Official Ozzy Osbourne Site

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May
29
2009

OZZY SPEAKS ABOUT BLACK SABBATH TRADEMARK ISSUE

Below is my official press statement on the official Black Sabbath trademark lawsuit. I am very saddened that I’ve had to take legal action against Tony. This is something that I’ve tried to avoid for years. I am not Geezer or Bill’s voice. However, till the day I die I will not change my mind on this issue. The Black Sabbath trademark should be equally owned by Geezer, Bill, Tony and I as the true Black Sabbath lineup is Tony, Geezer, Bill and I. We’ve all been mates since school. I’ve always said there is an invisible thread that holds us together. Tony, lets get this ridiculous issue sorted and move on with our lives. You’re 61, I’m 60. I hope that we’ve got a good 20 years left in us. But if not, God Forbid something happens to you. What’s going to happen to the Black Sabbath trademark? Who’s going to oversee it? Don’t you think after we’re long gone the rights should stay in your family, my family, Bill’s family and Geezer’s family?

Statement from OZZY OSBOURNE:

“It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long term partner, Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse. As of the mid-1990’s, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of "Black Sabbath" was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name Black Sabbath) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997 when Geezer, Bill and myself rejoined the band, Black Sabbath has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name “Black Sabbath” which lead to the band being inducted into the UK and US Rock & Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the “Black Sabbath” brand through OZZFEST, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name "Black Sabbath" now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour. Tony, I am so sorry it’s had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don’t have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60’s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing.”

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Comments

YESTERDAY I LOOKED INTO ONE OF THOSE HISTORY OF ROCK BOOKS LISTING THE ORIGINAL LINE UP. HISTORY WILL GO DOWN AS THE ORIGINAL BAND THAT STARTED IT ALL. YES THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE SHOULD BE THE ONLY ONES TO OWN THE NAME. RONNIE JAMES DIO EVEN THOUGH HE IS A GREAT SINGER IN HIS OWN RIGHT NO ONE CAN DENY WAS NOT IN THE BAND ORIGINALLY. THE REAL BAND IS THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY, AND IT ALWAYS SHOULD BE. IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR THERE REALLY IS NO OTHER WAY TO SEE IT. LETS GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY ARE DUE AND ADMIT THAT OZZY IS PERFECTLY RIGHT IN HIS OPINION IN THIS MATTER. IF IT WASN'T FOR OZZYS UNIQUE SINGING STYLE, IF IT WASN'T FOR OZZYS INCREDIBLE PERSONALITY, IF IT WASN'T FOR HIS STAGE PERSONA, AND HIS CRAZY ANTICS, AND PR TRICKS, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A BLACK SABBATH TO BEGIN WITH. YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE TO GIVE IT TO THE OZZMAN ON THIS ONE! LINDSAYMCDONALD.COM

C'mon Ozzy [sorry ...Sharon!]. Why the heartfelt plea to Tony about the name. Fact is You gave it up! Signed it away in 1980. You didn't want to rejoin the band when your solo career was on the rise in the 80s and now that you haven't released anything decent in years and likely won't [seeing as Tony & Geezer are working with a better singer and songwriter -- RJ Dio]
I lost all respect for you when you did that stupid tv show and your treatment of former Blizzard of Ozz bandmates Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley! Aside from screwing them for $$, a disgraceful thing you did in re-issuing the only 2 great albums made under your name - Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman -- with alternate players!
Now, that you're got nothing going, you want a share of the Sabbath name again!? Stick to your TV shows, and leave the Sabbath camp alone. Fans are perfectly happy with Heaven & Heel [w/ Dio], as opposed to waiting forever for Sharon to give you the green light to record an album with them.
Hell, I too hope Heaven And Hell re-record the Sabbath cataogue up until Never Say Die with Dio on vocals! Wouldn't that be a kick in the head!?

K

"Blizzard of Oz" would still be playing off of Ozzy's very own branding, but that is not relevant because that is not what the band was called.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the record companies own the rights to the music? You can not convince me that Kerslake and Daisley were not paid for their work, and don't Kerslake and Daisley have the same right to market their own personal fame that anyone else does? Their situation is irrelevant to the matter of who uses the Black Sabbath name.

As far as the terms of the other band members signing away their rights to the Black Sabbath trademark, I imagine that will be settled in court. I'm not an attorney, and I have no stake in it. I just know that Black Sabbath in no way resembled its former self with any lead vocalist that followed Ozzy Osbourne.

If you go back in history, the "band" was to be the "Blizzard of Ozz" and not Ozzy Osbourne. Go back and research and see who wrote all of the music and lyrics for the first 2 CD's. It was Kerslake and Daisley. John Osbourne was definately the personality of the group, but why should these 2 be denied their paycheck?

As for John vs Dio, not interested in that fight. I enjoy both singers. Both have an awesome history with the Band Sabbath.

To the rest of you saying Tony is in the wrong for being the sole owner of the name Black Sabbath. Please take a look at this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/9023418/Co...-Black-Sabbath

These are the documents of the lawsuit between TI and LiveNation. Read the whole document, as it goes into detail how the other members contractually signed off all of their rights to the Black Sabbath name. It does not matter what your opinion is here. Legally, Tony Iommi is the owner of Black Sabbath. John signed off in 1980, and Geezer and Bill signed off in 1985. Notmuch more to discuss.

Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward - THE REAL BLACK SABBATH
You're right Ozzy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Mr. Tony, I have to ask the one question any Black Sabbath fan would like to know, How could you possible think you should own soul rights to a band that took more than just you to make it the success that is today and will alway`s be. We hope that you do what`s right without creating a bad imagine for the band that has taking you this far.

Black Sabbath definately does belong to the four people who made it great. That would be Ozzy,Geezer Tony ,and Bill. Hopefully this is what will happen. My wife and I grew up with "BLACK SABBATH" with these four guys. Her and I love them very much. There music was so far ahead of anyone else back in the 70's. One of the greatest hard rock bands ever formed. I don't even listen to Dio singing because it is not Black Sabbath. Rock on you guys. Rock on!!!!

Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were riding the coat tails of a more famous personality, and although they made valuable musical contributions to the band, they certainly didn't define the Ozzy Osbourne band. Ozzy Osbourne defined the Ozzy Osbourne band. I imagine that is part of the benefit of being able to market your own name as a band.

Black Sabbath was truly defined by four men over the course of about a decade and named by only one (Geezer Butler). That clearly makes it a different situation from the earliest incarnation of the Ozzy Osbourne band. Tony Iommi wrote some fantastic music, but he should find a trademark that is solely his. Heaven & Hell seems just fine.

And Ronnie James Dio just doesn't hold a candle to Ozzy's vocals. Dio had a very homogeneous, high-pitched, operatic voice. It's been done so many times that it is old and tired. Ozzy Osbourne remains unique and far more interesting than Dio.

-Ron

If, in fact, you feel that : "morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally", when then are the independent news outlets reporting that you (and doubtlessly, your manager) are suing Iommi for 50% of the Black Sabbath name? Once again, your camp is demonstrating a commitment to the truth that is tenuous at best.

C'mon John. (I will not use your stage name, as I do not want to be charged a nickel for using it)

You signed away your rights to Black Sabbath back in 1980. Black Sabbath is and always will be Tony Iommi. So what if they were playing small clubs. If this is so important to you, where we you back in say 1984 or 1993, or anytime after 1980.

Ya know if this is truly so important to carrying on the legacy and taking care of everyone's families, how about you doing the same for Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley? Don't they deserve some of the wealth for the 2 fantastic albums they played on, and basically did all the work for?

I hope Tony re-makes the first 8 Black Sabbath albums with Ronnie James Dio on vocals and re-releases them. Sound familiar?

Black Sabbath is dead. Long live Heaven and Hell!