TRADEMARK BATTLE UPDATE

TRADEMARK BATTLE UPDATE

 

Greetings Everyone,

 

Happy Hologram day! It’s not a thing yet but I bet it will be soon. Anyway, I thought it might be helpful to provide all of you with some background information about what has been happening between the Zappa Family Trust and me lately and how your support is helping.

 

You might want to grab your favorite beverage and get yourself into a cozy chair because this update is BIG and HUGE and very "UPDATEY"... In other words, it's gonna take a while to read it in its entirety. All set? Buckled up?

I’m here to present factual information along with contextual background details. I will submit evidence to you that has been cleared by my attorneys and explain why there is still an ongoing legal dispute.

 

Before I do that, have a look at this quote from Rolling Stone magazine, September 21, 2017. "Last year, Dweezil revealed that he had to license his own last name in order to perform in a long-running show he devised in tribute to his father called Zappa Plays Zappa and could not sell related merchandise. He also claimed he received a cease-and-desist from the Zappa Family Trust and subsequently rebranded his tour as 50 Years of Frank: Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the F@%k He Wants – The Cease and Desist Tour. Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were '1 million percent false.'”


You might have noticed Ahmet Zappa’s quote in the context above, “1 million percent false.” As you read on I will present you with the verifiable facts that expose the truth.


As many of you know, my siblings, Ahmet & Diva are currently in control of the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT). They have been using the ZFT resources to force me to stop using my family name, and even my full name, in connection with musical performances.

 

"‘Dweezil’ is a trademark belonging to the ZFT.”
- excerpt from ZFT legal document

 

(That’s right the ZFT has actually has made a recent claim in pre-trial documents that they own my first name as well as my last name).

 

The ZFT decided to send me a cease and desist letter in 2016, a real one, not a holographic one, over the use of the name Zappa Plays Zappa.

 

(Cease And Desist 1: Excerpt from letter received from the ZFT, April 14, 2016)

 

“We hereby advise you that should your client proceed to perform under, or advertise or otherwise use, the name ”ZPZ” or “Zappa Plays Zappa” or to use the same in connection with any such performances, my client will pursue its rights to prevent such performances and usage as the exclusive owner of these trademarks. Further, your client cannot perform a show consisting largely of Frank Zappa’s works.”

 

“Any public performance of Frank Zappa’s works as part of the ZPZ show using the music of Frank Zappa without a license from ZFT constitutes copyright infringement and will be prosecuted by ZFT. A willful infringement of copyright can result in damages of up to $150,000 per infringement plus attorneys’ fees and a possible injunction.”

 

(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)

 

The ZFT made an offer to allow me to use the Zappa Plays Zappa trademark for a 1 dollar licensing fee but they simultaneously imposed a substantial collection fee in return.

 They demanded to sell ZFT Frank Zappa merchandise on my tour and collect 100% of the profits. The deal they offered was unacceptable especially as the ZFT has never contributed anything towards the expenses of operating the tour and was already benefitting from album sales, performing rights society fees and 10 years of tour merchandise proceeds that remained unpaid to me.

They demanded to sell ZFT Frank Zappa merchandise on my tour and collect 100% of the profits. The deal they offered was unacceptable especially as the ZFT has never contributed anything towards the expenses of operating the tour and was already benefitting from album sales, performing rights society fees and 10 years of tour merchandise proceeds that remained unpaid to me.

 

Since Ahmet and Diva were unwilling to make good on the contract between my mother and me, the same contract she also did not fulfill, there was no way to move forward under the name Zappa Plays Zappa. Faced with expensive legal decisions, I decided to change from Zappa Plays Zappa, the name of the band and brand I had established with 12 years of blood sweat and tears, to Dweezil Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa.


Immediately upon the public release of the new name I received another cease and desist letter (also in 2016) from the Zappa Family Trust citing meritless and incorrect accounts of infractions and trademark violations involving the name Frank Zappa.

 

(Cease and Desist 2: Excerpt from letter received from the ZFT, June 14, 2016)

 

“We must advise that your client’s new DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS THE MUSIC OF FRANK ZAPPA mark (“Infringing Mark”) constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition under federal law.” “The ZFT is required as are all trademark owners to prevent others from using its marks in a manner that would cause consumer confusion.”

 

“Accordingly, we have advised the ZFT that it cannot ignore its duty as a trademark owner and that it must demand your client immediately cease any and all further use of the Infringing Mark. Moreover, we require you to provide us with written confirmation of your client’s acquiescence to this demand including but not limited to immediately discontinuing use of the Infringing Mark on your client’s website and in all collateral associated with the upcoming tour within five (5) days of receipt of this letter. Due to the impending tour start date, it is imperative that your client cease any and all use of the Infringing Mark to avoid more formal legal action including placing the tour venues on notice of the infringement.”

 

(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)

 

Rather than waste more money on lawyers to fight for my clear legal authority to use the name Dweezil Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa, I decided it would be more appropriate to change the name again.

 

This time I squeezed the lemons into lemonade and called the tour, “Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever The F@% He Wants: The Cease And Desist Tour.” I haven't received a cease and desist letter for that name yet!

 

Since our mother has passed away, Ahmet and Diva have been exploiting their new roles as trustees of the ZFT. In legal documents they claim the ZFT has the sole right to use our family name in the entertainment industry and that when I use my full legal name, Dweezil Zappa in connection with live musical performances, there is a “likelihood of confusion” because “it is likely that consumers will believe that [my] services originate and/or are affiliated with [the Zappa Family Trust].”

 

I no longer sell sell any merchandise, Frank Zappa or otherwise from the ZFT on my tours. When I promote my tours the ads contain a statement that says “not endorsed by the Zappa Family Trust.”

 

 The ZFT is attempting to require me to license my own name from them and be forced to sell Official Frank Zappa (ZFT) merchandise at my shows, for which I would be expected to pay 100% percent of that income to the ZFT. They seek to impose this without making any contribution of any kind to my tour expenses, band salaries, tour bus, flights etc. They seek to enrich themselves, all while maintaining a claim that they own my first and last name.

 

Apparently “owning” my name isn’t enough for them and they have tried to leverage their roles as trustees by creating a holographic version of our father that they seek to manipulate on stages worldwide.


The press release about the tour appears to state that they have communicated with me about being involved with such a tour. Like other fans of my father, I heard about it through social media.


I have never been contacted by the (ZFT) about it in any form nor have I given them consent to use my name. For the record, I am not interested in participating in anything with an artificial version of my Father on stage.


Let’s be realistic, it’s not actually Frank Zappa that will be on stage.


It’s important to note that the process of creating holograms of deceased individuals (crazy that this is a thing nowadays) does not involve the physical attributes of said individuals.

 

In an interview with CNBC published August 12, 2017, Eyellusion CEO Jeff Pezzuti explained that the technological hurdles that must be overcome aren't small either. His company is overseen by special effects executive Scott Ross, formerly of Lucasfilm, and co-founder of Digital Domain with "Avatar" director James Cameron.

 

"We scour archive footage and photos, then build several physical models that can be scanned and animated," he told CNBC.

 

 

"The actual display of the hologram involves use of an invisible film that is stretched at an angle with an LED projector, projecting an image onto it to create the 3-D effect and illusion," he explained. "This is an incredibly complicated process."


Additionally using an actor in a “green screen suit” that can be affixed with sensors to capture the movements of the actor wearing the suit is also part of the process.

 

 

The “performance” by the “actor” is then tweaked using digital computer effects, and afterward, 3D rendered. Once that process is complete it can be manipulated with varying degrees of success or believeability, to sing or play guitar, or do anything else its new puppet master wishes.


For the sake of this example, we will refer to this proposed ZFT creation as “Fake Frank.” Now that “Fake Frank” has been generated by Ahmet and Diva, he can lip-synch and pretend to play to Frank Zappa’s actual recordings. (There still may be unanswered questions as to whether all appropriate rights and clearances have been addressed.)

 


I have my own opinions about this but while we’re on this topic, I also wonder what music fans in general think about “tours” like this.


Actual humans lip synching is already pretty fake and unsatisfying.


Artificial humans promoted as being alive again and going on tour is not only fake but disturbing, in my opinion.


It’s still a lip synch show with an “actor’s” interpretation of the individual’s movements and mannerisms, no DNA.


Where is the space for the audience to emotionally connect to the music or the artist when they are presented with something so artificial?


“Fake Frank” could even be made to hold a Budweiser banner and do all sorts of other “Fake Frank” things that are inconsistent with the real Frank Zappa. This all sounds like a preposterous joke but sadly it’s true.


In any event, there are many more layers of unnecessary legal tribulations I am wading through from the ZFT. My attorneys have been hard at work, rattling sabers with Ahmet & Diva’s lawyers before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Discovery has taken several months and is nearly over. We are almost ready to go to trial.


Estimates for the cost of the trial are in the neighborhood of $30,000. Of course there is no way of knowing exactly how much it will cost but one thing is for certain it will cost a significant amount of money to complete the trial and has already cost an inordinate amount to get to this point.


For the past 36 years I have used my own name in the field of live music and entertainment and now 2 of my siblings claim to own my name and seek to prevent me from using it freely. On principle alone, I must defend myself.

 

 


Besides wasting considerable time and money, at present, Ahmet & Diva have refused to hand over important evidence. My attorneys have filed a motion to compel them to turn over the document and we expect the trademark office will order them to give us the document. Once that issue is resolved, we will begin the trial process, which will take about seven months!


I’m aware this family conflict stuff is unpleasant to read and I wish that there was a simple way for the ZFT to co-operate, utilizing the entire family’s experience and expertise for the greater good of the Frank Zappa legacy.

 

Until that happens, unfortunately there is more work to be done in the fight for justice over the name my Father gave me.

 


This is as good a time as any to fill you in on the status of my Dweezil Zappa & The Others Of Intention music campaign.

 

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/othersofintention


If you’ve never heard of it please allow me to explain it. I created my campaign so that I could share a wealth of great new music with everyone as well as offer unique items, such as custom designed fuzz pedals with hand drawn art, unique poster art, apparel and even some of my own personal custom guitars.

 

Besides delivering a diverse collection of new music on CD, vinyl and digital download the campaign was also designed to provide information about the unfortunate conflict between the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT) and me.


The conflict which primarily revolves around trademark issues, threatens to sour the musical legacy created by my Dad.


Even worse, the ZFT could have the potential to block me from using the name my Father gave me, to identify myself within the field of live music and entertainment, i.e. a concert tour under the name Dweezil Zappa.


By creating awareness about the issue at hand as well as offering assorted goodies to music aficionados, the “Dweezil Zappa And The Others Of Intention” campaign also creates the opportunity for people to volunteer their support through the purchase of music and other aforementioned items.

 

 


Because of the circumstances surrounding the trademark conflict, I am forced to engage in legal proceedings in order to protect the rights to my own name. By purchasing music or any of the assorted ephemeral accoutrements within the campaign, supporters automatically join the community of the “Others Of Intention” and raise their voices alongside mine as I proceed with my ongoing quest for justice.


Since the campaign started, there has been tremendous support, for which I am sincerely grateful.


With the awareness of the Zappa Family Trust’s (ZFT’s) actions against me needing more explanation, so too does the campaign itself. I am redoubling my efforts to add even more new music and other exciting elements to the campaign because we are facing a new cycle of events in the trademark proceeding and I am hopeful that I will be able to afford to keep defending myself against the (ZFT) and their real life or “holographic” legal team.


This music driven crowdfunding campaign has surpassed its original 100% target and the momentum has recently slowed down. We are now making preparations to reignite the campaign with a plethora of new musical offerings so that we can reach our new goal of 200%.


We are of course hopeful that we will win.

 


If we win, my right to continue touring and playing—and fans’ rights to experience—the music will be vindicated: Music wins.

 

 

If somewhere along the line, it becomes too expensive for me to continue fighting, the dark side of the industry will have triumphed in silencing the music.


So my friends, my tribe, I urge you to take up arms and join me in defending the rights to my name.

 

Any amount, however small, will help us take this case all the way to the finish line.


You may ask yourself, “What is really going on with this trademark stuff?”


For a detailed history of events regarding the conflict between the Zappa Family Trust and me, please read below:


The “legalese” is dense and tiresome but it is necessary to include.


I used to call my band Zappa Plays Zappa. It made perfect sense, one Zappa (me) was playing another Zappa’s (my Dad) music and that labor of love propelled the music to a new generation of fans. It created goodwill amongst the fans and successfully promoted my father’s entire music catalog to old and new fans alike.


My mother trademarked the Zappa Plays Zappa name without my knowledge shortly after I started touring. Because of that I did have to agree to a license agreement that acknowledged that the ZFT owned the name. I had an assortment of conflicts with my mother over ongoing tour issues. Contractually owed but never paid, ZPZ tour merchandise monies were at the top of the list.


When our mother passed away, Ahmet and Diva Zappa became the trustees of the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT).

 

It appeared that their first order of business was to use legal means to block me from using the name Zappa Plays Zappa. Part of their reason in the legal documents I received was explained that the first Zappa indicated in the name Zappa Plays Zappa did not refer to me, rather to anyone in the family with the last name Zappa. Since no-one in the family other than me is capable of playing our father’s music live on stage and since they had made no attempt to do so during the 10 years I had toured the world as Zappa Plays Zappa it would be a considerable task to prove to the public that the first Zappa indicated in the name Zappa Plays Zappa referred to anyone other than me.


As mentioned previously, the ZFT decided to send me cease and desist letters in 2016, real ones, not holographic ones, over the use of the name Zappa Plays Zappa.

 

(Cease And Desist 1: Excerpt from letter received from the ZFT, April 14, 2016 - see above)

 

(Cease and Desist 2: Excerpt from letter received from the ZFT, June 14, 2016 - see above)

 

Not satisfied with their failed attempts to enrich themselves without lifting a finger, Ahmet and Diva took the next step in their quest for power.

 

They filed for a trademark for the family name (Zappa) in the fields of live music and entertainment and other related services involving the sale of tickets for live events, festivals and public appearances.

 

Here’s the complete list from the trademark application:

 


artists; personal appearances by musical performers, theatrical performers, and celebrities; entertainment, namely, live music concerts; entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical band or group or individual; entertainment namely, production of music and music video recordings and entertainment related films; entertainment services, namely, providing non-downloadable playback of music via global communications networks; providing a web site featuring information in the field of entertainment; publishing of magazines and newsletters; providing online magazines and newsletters in the fields of music, and celebrities and providing entertainment information in the nature of a calendar of entertainment events; providing a web site where users can post ratings, reviews and recommendations on events and activities in the field of entertainment; entertainment, namely, conducting private parties; conception, creation, production, arranging, planning and conducting special events for social entertainment purposes; conception, creation, production, arranging, planning and conducting nightclub entertainment events; entertainment services, namely, discothèques, cabarets; entertainment services, namely, live presentation of music performances and prerecorded music performances viewed on a big screen; entertainment services, namely, presentation of entertainment exhibitions and concerts; entertainment services, namely, planning and conducting music festivals; organizing music festivals for entertainment purposes; production of music; production of sound and music video recordings; providing an internet website portal featuring links to musical artist websites and music performance ticket information; music-halls; music venues; music publishing services.


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


How did this application of this trademark affect my ability to play not only my father’s music, but music of any kind under my own name?


Answer: If the Zappa Family Trust were to be granted the trademark and the exclusive rights that go with it, they would potentially try to to use it to block me from using my own name to identify myself in the field of live music and entertainment. Essentially any performance or personal appearance situation offering tickets to the public.

 

Clearly, since I have already developed a brand of my own under my own name for the past 36 years, I had no choice but to oppose this application.

That is why I started my “Dweezil Zappa & The Others Of Intention” pledge music campaign. I did not have the funds to take on this injustice alone. I could however, create music and other items that could help me defend myself.


It’s important to note the Zappa Family Trust is using the funds from the ZFT to do all of their legal maneuvering. As confusing as it all is, add this factor into the mix, I’m one of the beneficiaries of the Zappa Family Trust (ZFT).


Instead of receiving my portion of any of the funds from the sales of records that I have exhaustingly promoted on tour, to the benefit of the whole family for the last 10 years, those funds and any other available Zappa Family Trust resources are being used to fight against me.

 

So I am essentially required to pay for my defense as well a portion of the ZFT offense.


To be specific, I filed an opposition with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office [USPTO] objecting to the Zappa Family Trust’s (ZFT) registration of ZAPPA in connection with entertainment services, including live music performances.


I filed this opposition because the ZFT’s lawyers sent me a letter stating that my use of “Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa” was a trademark infringement (shown above).

 

The letter also claimed that the ZFT owns the trademark ZAPPA and “formatives” (variations) and that I am not authorized to use the ZAPPA trademark in any way. The letter was unclear about whether the ZFT considers “Dweezil Zappa” to be one of the “formatives” that I am supposedly not authorized to use and it threatened a lawsuit.


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


On December 22, 2016, the ZFT sent a letter to Pledge Music in which it claimed that my Pledge Music campaign was based on “false and misleading statements” because it is said in my Pledge Music video that the ZFT was seeking to prevent me from using my name to identify myself as a musician. In lawyer double-speak, the letter claimed that “The ZFT has no issue and has never had an issue with Dweezil using ZAPPA as Dweezil’s last name, and would not ‘force him to be known only as Dweezil.’”


While I certainly disagree that I made any false statements, it was encouraging to think that the ZFT was not actually going to take the position that I couldn’t use Zappa as part of my name in connection with my musical performances, live on stage or in the studio.


In February of 2017, as part of the discovery process of my opposition of the Zappa trademark in entertainment services, I made a formal request through my lawyers for the ZFT to tell me whether it objects to me using Dweezil Zappa in connection with entertainment services.

 

Based on what the ZFT’s lawyers told Pledge Music, I expected a simple response echoing their previous statement that they had no problem with me using Dweezil Zappa in connection with entertainment services. Instead, the ZFT objected to the question itself, stating that

“it is not relevant to the proceeding.”

 

Not relevant?

 

I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, let me read that again, that must be a joke.” Unfortunately it wasn’t. They actually wrote that.


Then, the ZFT created a lawyer-drafted non-response that said that the ZFT “notes, however, that there was a DVD released in 2008 that stated in the credits that

"Dweezil’ is a trademark belonging to the ZFT."


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)

 


So, now, not only were they objecting to me using “Zappa,” they were know implying that they own my first name as well!

 

Similarly, my lawyers asked if the ZFT will assert the Trademark Office registration for “Zappa” against me if they were to obtain the registration and I was to continue to use Dweezil Zappa in connection with entertainment services.


This was their answer: Opposer [Dweezil] has assured Applicant [the ZFT] that Opposer [Dweezil] has ceased all use of all ZAPPA marks, which makes this interrogatory completely irrelevant, or else Opposer’s [Dweezil’s] representation to Applicant [ZFT] was false and misleading.”

 

As best as I can tell, this answer means that since I said I wouldn’t be using their trademarks, and they claim “Dweezil Zappa” is their trademark, their answer to the question doesn’t matter.


When I received the ZFT responses as part of the ongoing case, in March 2017, I had no clear answer as to what the ZFT’s position was, related to my use of my own name. They had gone from making legal demands that I not use “formatives” of the Zappa trademark, to representing to Pledge Music that they had no problem with me using my name in connection with music, to responding to formal written questions in the trademark opposition case that implies that they own both “Dweezil” and “Dweezil Zappa.”


They are attempting to play all the positions in the field at once. One could consider asking rhetorically, “how is that even legal?”


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


Their actions appear to be designed to waste the maximum amount of time and money. As mentioned previously, the Zappa Family Trust is using the money of the ZFT for all of these legal proceedings.

 

Ahmet and Diva have not shown any evidence that they themselves are going out of pocket and don’t seem to be bothered by the wasteful spending of the ZFT resources. I’m not in the same position as the ZFT. I do not have the ability to continuously fund legal battles, nor do I care to do so.


Someone had to try to stop the insanity, so I had my lawyer make a proposal that I would drop the opposition proceeding (which would allow the Trust to obtain its registration of the trademark “Zappa” in connection with entertainment services, if the Trust agreed that I could use “Dweezil Zappa” as a trademark and that I could advertise that I was playing my father’s music. It would end all necessary spending on the matter right then and there.

 

Included in the response from the attorneys for the ZFT was this statement:

 

“The Trust does not agree to your client’s use of DWEEZIL ZAPPA as a trademark in connection with any and all services.”

 


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


This “The Trust does not agree to your client’s use of DWEEZIL ZAPPA as a trademark in connection with any and all services” statement was made by the very same lawyer who tried to get my Pledge Music page taken down by claiming, “The [Dweezil Zappa Pledge Music] Page is based on the false and misleading statements that the ZFT and its Trustees, which are the siblings of Dweezil Zappa, are seeking to prevent DZ from using DZ’s full name to identify himself as a musician.”

 

It clearly shows that they have been the ones who are publicly using misleading language, saying one thing and doing the opposite. Actions speak louder than words and they must be held accountable.


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


As if that wasn’t stupid enough, it gets even worse. I just learned that someone from the ZFT submitted a letter of protest to the US Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO], protesting my registration of “Dweezil Zappa” as a trademark because it might cause confusion with registered “Zappa” trademarks in connection with recorded music.


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


When Ahmet and Diva, as trustees of the Zappa Family Trust, decided to take the position that my use of Dweezil Zappa in connection with entertainment services is trademark infringement, did they forget that Diva Zappa herself, a trustee, had a registered trademark for “Diva Zappa” in connection with recorded music?


Somehow they would like to have people believe that “Diva Zappa” in connection with recorded music does not infringe the Zappa mark in connection with recorded music, but Dweezil Zappa in connection with live music does infringe the Zappa mark in connection with recorded music.


They appear to think that they can tell the public that they have no problem with me using my name in connection with musical performances and then threaten that if I use my name as a trademark in connection with musical performances they will sue me.


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


Confused as to how they feel they can justify playing both sides of the fence? Me too!


As recently as July 2017, the ZFT allowed Diva Zappa’s trademark of her own full name to lapse. Was it a clerical error by her lawyers? Or was it a legal strategy to protect her role as a trustee?


As a trustee, Diva must adhere to a stringent set of fiduciary responsibilities. She would be precluded from renewing a trademark of her own full name, “Diva Zappa” and then blocking a sibling beneficiary, me, from having the ability to register and use the same type of trademark. By allowing her trademark to lapse she now has the ability to join Ahmet more fervently in attempting to block me from using my own name in live music and entertainment.


Most shockingly, at the same time, together as trustees, they are claiming to own my full name, Dweezil Zappa.

 

(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


Since our mother’s passing in late 2015, the ZFT has spent more than $500,000.00 in assorted legal fees. Recently we received our very first accounting statement (largely incomplete I might add), the ZFT averaged $30,000.00 per month in legal bills! From the minimal accounting statements we’ve been able to obtain through legal remedy this is what was listed.

 

The ZFT does not provide anything willingly or in a timely manner. It takes months, even years to get documents that they are required to provide as part of their duties as trustees. They haven't provided details for the actual legal services rendered so we don’t know the exact amount they have wasted to fight me over the rights to my name.


It is a completely unnecessary trademark exercise which could have easily been solved already if they actually meant it when they told Pledge Music in December of 2016, “The ZFT has no issue and has never had an issue with Dweezil using ZAPPA as Dweezil’s last name, and would not ‘force him to be known only as Dweezil.’”


Why then is the trademark case still ongoing at thousands of dollars per hour and why have they refused to sign any document to back their statement up?


(Remember: Ahmet told Rolling Stone Dweezil's claims that the estate was attempting to stop him were "1 million percent false.”)


These ridiculous and inconsistent positions that the ZFT continually take, puts me in a position of asking the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to resolve this issue once and for all. To go the distance and get the USPTO to decide this case, I have decided to extend the Dweezil Zappa & The Others Of Intention Pledge Music campaign and seek your help in this battle.


Our goal is to reach or even surpass 200%!


If we reach 200% I will donate $20,000 to Earthquake and Hurricane relief charities.

 

I want to help as many  people as I can in Mexico and the areas devastated by the recent Hurricanes.


In the coming weeks I will be adding many more new items to the campaign including my “Dweezil Zappa Plays Apostrophe Live!” album to the project. It features my band playing the entire Frank Zappa album “Apostrophe,” live on stage in sequence.


It has been mixed from the multitrack by Mike Hartung along with me and is an incredible sonic journey as well as a stellar technical achievement.


It embraces all of the character and detail from the original album sound design while fusing it with the ambience from the live performance. Besides the stereo mixes I plan to offer multichannel surround mixes of the album. I’m very excited about the quality of the audio and I can’t wait to share it with you.


For those of you who want something to express their feelings about “Fake Frank” Please have a look at :

 

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/othersofintention

 

Thanks for reading and thanks to all of the “Others Of Intention” for all of your support.

 

DZ

 

Comments
  • Claire

    I am so sorry for what you have been through and will continue to have to deal with. Not to mention how this must have effected your grieving process, if in fact you have been free to grieve. You never really know someone until somebody dies. My heart goes out to you. Frank wouldn't have wanted this.

  • Claire

    Maybe you should market yourself as "Ahmet & Divas Brother"

  • Joe Z.

    Dweezil....Hope you prevail !  My last name is ZAPPA as well, and I think I may just start a band and go on tour.....Maybe call the band....

    Joe Zappa and The Cousins of Intervention .. 

     

    -  JZ

  • Hernán S.

    Hope to see you back in Argentina, Dweezil. Sold out shows for sure. That's the best we can do round here nowadays to support you in this fight.

  • Mike Dude

    Hang in there, Dweezil. You will come out on top of all this.