Grateful Dead, Santana, Led Zeppelin, The Doors
sue internet business for copyright infringement
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Several classic rock stars, including
Carlos Santana and members of the Grateful Dead, sued the owner
of a memorabilia web site in federal court in San Francisco yesterday
for allegedly violating their copyright and trademark rights.
The defendant in the lawsuit is William Sagan, owner of Wolfgang's
Vault, a business that sells rock concert memorabilia and posters
via the Internet.
Sagan, a Minnesota entrepreneur, founded the company after buying
the archives of the late rock concert promoter Bill Graham in
2002. He has added other materials since then.
The business takes its name from Graham's given name, which was
Wolfgang. The materials are housed in a San Francisco warehouse.
The plaintiffs include Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana
and members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors.
They claim Sagan is violating their copyrights, trademarks and
publicity rights by selling originals and copies of memorabilia
and by streaming to the public tapes of rock concerts recorded
The lawsuit seeks a halt to the alleged infringement, reimbursement
for profits made by the company and additional punitive compensation.
Alyssa Miller, a spokesman for Sagan, said he had not been served
with the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.
Grateful Dead member Bob Weir said "we have never given
permission for our images and material to be used in this way."
Weir alleged that Sagan "is stealing what is most important
to us -- our work, our images and our music -- and is profiting
from the good will of our fans."
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge James Ware of San
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.