Wednesday, March 10, 2010

JACK Report: Get Your Lawyers on This!!!

I'll bet you're wondering what has been happening to the JACK Quartet (actually, you're probably wondering whether I haven't been reading any good books or seeing any good movies lately. I have. Reports will come in due time. Or not.)
Last week, the New York Times had another rave review of JACK, accompanied with a four column picture. To just pick out a few random blurbs: "young, hip JACK Quartet"; "this brilliant ensemble"; "viscerally exciting"; "eclectic thoughtful program"; "riveting performance"; "a tour de force of intensity and color."

The reviewer comments that he previously heard JACK perform in black t-shirts, but the performance last week was in suits and ties and that the Quartet proved it can do both. That review has been widely reprinted, not just because it was about JACK, but because it is by the New York Times.

Now, lo and behold, some internet t-shirt purveyor in the United Kingdom is using the quartet to sell t-shirts -- not JACK t-shirts, just t-shirts in general. The ad quotes the review as saying the Quartet is comfortable in either t-shirts or suits, and then goes on to basically say, "you too can be comfortable. Buy a t-shirt from us." Take a look at the ad, it's weird.


Anonymous said...

What is the legal issue here? There is no intimation that JACK endorses his tee shirts. How would this be different than a suit manufacturer noting that Obama looks good in black suits?

If I were JACK I would be happy for the additional publicity. Chris playing in tee shirts reminds me of him as a kid. As I recall, it took something pretty formal to get him into something more than a tee shirt.


Crockhead said...

I'm not an expert on intellectual property law so I don't know the answer. From my limited knowledge, I know that if you don't maintain control of your brand, you lose the right to exclude others from using it. JACK is a brand name, not an individual name, so that's one difference between someone saying Obama looks good in a black suit. Anyone in the world can adopt the name Barack Obama and there is nothing he can do about it. However, there would be a problem if JACK started calling itself Kronos Quartet. Maybe you know there is no legal issue. You might be right. I think there might be, and I hope the quartet either checks with you to be sure or engage an intellectual property lawyer.