Friday, March 25, 2005

Funny, He Doesn't Look Lou-ish

Here's an update about the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from

Located on the Lake Erie shore is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, an $84 million, 150,000-square-foot building; located in cyberspace is a proposed Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website dedicated exclusively to Jewish rockers.

However, the website is currently on hold, pending a hearing for copyright infringement initiated by the Cleveland Rock Hall.

Apparently, says Art Kaufman, the Cleveland attorney representing the three journalists who hope to launch the website, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is concerned that "people could be confused" by the two. But, he notes, there are numerous baseball halls of fame, as well as other halls of fame. "Our case is that both "rock and roll" and "hall of fame" are generic terms," he says.

That's true, says Todd Mesek, senior director of marketing and communication of the Cleveland Rock Hall. "The terms ‘rock and roll' and ‘hall of fame' are not protected. However, "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' is. (The lawsuit) is not about confusion, as much as it is about protecting our trademark. If you don't protect it, you risk losing it."

Mesek adds that the institution he represents is a not-for-profit organization, and the purpose of the museum is to explain why the art form of rock and roll is so important. "We support others who also want to share this message, but when someone infringes on our trademark, we are obligated to protect it." will feature Jewish stars such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer. But, because the field is so limited, says Kaufman, they'll probably also include people like Elvis's tailor. "My co-counsel says the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should have one more panel than the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame," he laughs. "There's really not a lot."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is being pretty silly. Seems like they could have a free licensing agreement that would protect the name but also solve this problem.

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