Jonny and Phil named in lawsuit

by Jonathan on October 1, 2005

From Sympatico MSN:
Canadian Folk Group Sues Jarvis Cocker, Members Of Radiohead, Warner Brothers Over Harry Potter Movie
Harry Potter, the bespectacled wizard who fights off evil demons and snotty classmates, has a new adversary to deal with – a female fronted Winnipeg folk group.
15-year-old folk band The Wyrd Sisters are suing Warner Brothers Entertainment Canada, Warner Brothers Records, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker and Radiohead’s Phil Selway and Johnny Greenwood for trademark infringement in an Ontario court.
Here’s the problem: In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire there’s a band of wizards called The Wyrd Sisters, who play at the Hogwarts Yule Ball. In the movie, due out November 18, Cocker, Selway and Greenwood play these rock ‘n’ roll wizards, originally under the same name.
Of course, this pissed off the Juno-nominated Wyrd Sisters. Singer and band co-founder Kim Baryluk says if their name is used in the Harry Potter movie it’ll mean the end for these folkies.
“[Harry Potter] is so much more huge than us in their reach that we’ll go out on tour a month after the movie comes out and we’ll go all over to Australia, to New Zealand and people will wonder who are these strange people stealing the Harry Potter name?”
Baryluk was first made aware of this conflict back in June after Warner sent her a letter offering her $5,000 to share their name. She quickly realized that sharing a band name with characters in a Harry Potter film could cause some trouble so she turned down their offer. Baryluk says getting her band off the ground again – which could involve a name change – will cost significantly more than $5,000 or the $50,000 Warner later offered.
“Do you know what I’ve spent on the band in the past 10 years?” says Baryluk. “In the last 10 years I’ve spent more than a million dollars. Offering me $50,000 is more than an insult.”
So what does Warner say about all this? Although they said they don’t comment on pending litigation, they did point out in a statement that the band in the movie don’t have a name and that they have no intention to use The Wyrd Sisters moniker.
Radiohead’s management were willing to clarify this a little further.
“[Johnny and Phil] were asked to be in the film to be The Wyrd Sisters, which is what J.K. Rowling called the band and then there’s this [Canadian] band called The Wyrd Sisters, so now they can’t be called The Wyrd Sisters,” says a member of Radiohead’s management, who didn’t want to be named. “The [Canadian] Wyrd Sisters are just trying to sue them for namesake. The whole story is just a couple of people in a band trying to get some money.”
Radiohead’s management reiterated that the name The Wyrd Sisters won’t be used in the movie. “In the film they’re not being called by that name.”
Read the full article…
(thanks to Graham)



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