As if the rift between Glenn Danzig and The Misifits could’t get any more heated, the sleeveless behemoth recently took his ex-bandmates to a federal court. In a lawsuit filed back in April, Danzig alleged that the band made “secret” merchandising deals with several retailers, most prominently Hot Topic, without his consent. As Ultimate Classic Rock reports, a judge has now issued his verdict in the case, and the news is not good for Danzig.
When news of the lawsuit first broke, The Misfits’ Jerry Only called the entire case “a sour grapes tantrum based on outrageous allegations.” U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner seemed to agree, as he’s tossed out the lawsuit effective immediately.
According to reports, Danzig’s suit was primarily against Only, who Danzig claimed had denied him a percentage of merchandising income based on a contractual agreement the pair made back in 1994. (Despite Danzig not having been involved with the band since 1983, all members own a percentage of the Misfits trademarks, including the “Fiend Skull” logo.) In addition, Danzig alleged that Only threatened to withhold licensing rights from any merchandisers who actually did business with Danzig.
In his ruling, Klausner wrote, “The terms of the provision do not address any obligation regarding trademark registration or negotiations with individual retail merchandisers. Moreover, in reviewing the other provisions contained in the 1994 Agreement, the Court also finds no other terms that govern the parties’ conduct as it pertains to trademarking and licensing.”
Klausner added that all the involved parties have “non-exclusive right to conduct merchandising and to exploit other rights relating to the use and exploitation of the name Misfits … and neither [Only] nor [Danzig] has any obligation to account to the other for any revenues derived from the exploitation of merchandising or any other rights.” Translation: Danzig gets no cash-money.
Of course, based on the merchandising catalog of the Misfits, you can’t really blame Danzig for making an attempt at a cash-grab. As Noisey points out, the pool of merch at Hot Topic alone includes dozens of items, from t-shirts, wallet chains, and masks to bikinis, incense holders, and, ugh, UGG boots. Mass annihilation? More like mass consumerism.
But look on the bright side, Danzig. You still have that badass statue of you riding a dragon to look forward to.