ABBA tribute acts must report sets to Universal

22 07 2010

ABBA “tribute” acts will have to report the track lists of every public performance they give, under strict new criteria issued to the bands by Universal Music in Sweden.

Last month, The Stage revealed exclusively that a number of ABBA tribute groups had been issued with legal notices from the record company asking that they change their band names. It stated that Universal believed their names constituted an infringement of its intellectual property rights.

Following this, in emails sent to tribute bands and seen by The Stage, Universal stated that ABBA could be associated with the tribute acts providing that four criteria are met. These are that the word ABBA is always displayed with the word “tribute” and these words are in a smaller font size than the band’s name, that no ABBA pictures are used in marketing material, that the tribute act does not produce merchandise that has ABBA pictures or covers on it and that the band reports track-lists of the songs performed in their set after every gig.

Universal Music started by contacting 15 tribute acts. It is understood that it plans to contact all the tribute acts that it believes infringe the ABBA trademark.

A second email from Universal in Sweden to one band, also seen by The Stage, added: “Universal Music has been contacted by several fans in Brazil, South Africa etc. that have been deceived into believing that the real ABBA have reunited. Universal Music looks severely on this misleading of ABBA’s fans as well as of the general public, and are therefore now actively seeking to create clarity in the names of all ABBA tribute bands.”

When the initial news broke, Sean Egan, head of arts and media at lawyers Bates Wells and Braithwaite, commented: “Trademark infringement law is complex. Even so, in such a case, you would often expect the requirement that there is confusion, so that the public believes either that the tribute band is the original band or is authorised.”

A spokesman for Swede Dreamz – one of the bands initially contacted by Universal – confirmed that it had made the changes requested on its website and, as ABBA does not feature in the band’s name, the band “found it was easy to comply with Universal Music’s request”.

A spokesman for Universal Music in Sweden said it had no comment on the development.

by Natalie Woolman

(At last something is being done to help correct the situation of cover bands using the “ABBA” title in their promotion. We support Universal very strongly on this matter and if you have any concerns over this matter or anything to report please contact Universal or the fan club and we will pass on your information to Universal/Polar.)





ABBA 2011 Calendar + Stickers.

16 07 2010

The latest of next years ABBA celendars is now available. This one features curiosities on the back of each month along with the 12 Stickers on the back page. Buy it here.





ABBA ORIGINALS: LP BOX SET

15 07 2010

LIMITED EDITION ORIGINAL LP BOX SET!

Due for release late 2010.

Win an autographed copy at ABBAsite





Mamma Mia! Leave them wanting more.

13 07 2010

PIERCE BROSNAN has addressed the speculation about another Mamma Mia! movie

Pierce who starred as architect Sam Carmichael opposite Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried in the 2008 hit Abba-themed movie says there have been rumours about a follow-up, but he has ruled out the idea. He says: “Leave them wanting more, less is more, and I don’t think we could top what we did the first time. It was such a phenomenal success.”





ABBA-LATEST ISSUE OF DNA

7 07 2010

Abba-look at the latest issues of Aussie Gay mag DNA. ABBA make a mention on the front cover!





APHRODITE -KYLIE

5 07 2010

Kylie Minogue’s new album is out today.

You can buy it here.

It’s Awesome !





ABBA TREASURES

4 07 2010

A new book to be released in November with new interviews with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, as well as fellow musicians and ABBA collaborators,

The book gives fans a uniquely hands-on experience, ABBA Treasures showcases 20 pieces of removable memorabilia, including reproductions of collectible stickers and trading cards, a backstage pass, tickets, the souvenir program from their 1979 world tour, and much more. With more than 150  photos.

The author is Elisabeth Vincentelli who also wrote ABBA s “ABBA Gold”, published in 2004. She is the chief drama critic at the New York Post, and previously worked at Time Out New York, first as the music editor and then as the arts & entertainment editor. Her music writing has appeared in the anthologies The Rolling Stone Encyclopaedia of Rock & Roll and Best Music Writing of 2007, as well as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, Slate, and The Believer, among others.

Hardcover: 176 pages

Publisher: Omnibus Press (1 Nov 2010)

Language English

ISBN-10: 1849386463

pre-order now!