Last summer Black Flag founder Greg Ginn sued his former bandmates for performing Black Flag material and using the iconic four bars logo under the name FLAG; Henry Rollins, who isn’t involved with FLAG, was named in the suit as well. A judge ruled against Ginn in the case last fall, but now an email from Ginn’s camp suggests the suit has been settled in accordance with his original demands. Here’s an excerpt from the email:
The suit brought by SST Records and Greg Ginn against the members of Flag, which was filed in August 2013, has been settled, in an agreement signed by Greg Ginn, SST Records, and former Black Flag members Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, etc.
The pertinent settlement points are as follows:
- The ownership of all of the recordings of Black Flag have been confirmed to Greg Ginn and SST Records.
- All rights in the Black Flag name and logo have been confirmed to Greg Ginn and SST Records.
- Henry Rollins and Keith Morris, who had surreptitiously attempted to register the Black Flag logo (the “bars’’) with the U.S. Trademark Office, have conveyed any rights they had in that trademark to Greg Ginn and SST Records.
- Flag will cease use of the Black Flag logo.
The message also includes a quote from new Black Flag vocalist Mike Vallely: “As was inevitable, this little bump in the road is out of the way and BLACK FLAG will continue as planned without the confusion.” No word yet as to why the reversal of fortunes, but we’ll keep you updated if more information emerges.
UPDATE: Vallely offered the following statement to Stereogum:
The judge ruled against an injunction at the time, not the entire suit. The suit has been ongoing all along. The suit was never about stopping FLAG, rather protecting BLACK FLAG’s trademarks. There never was and never would be an issue with FLAG performing BLACK FLAG songs but when they and some of their promoters started using the name BLACK FLAG and the BLACK FLAG logo to promote their performances that is where we took issue. Add to that, Keith Morris and Henry Rollins filing a fraudulent trademark application for the BLACK FLAG logo and we were left with no other option but to protect ourselves legally.