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Who Gets to be the Vels?
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 1986
Plaintiffs Former Band Member(s)
Defendants Polygram Records
Vels
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Though their name sounds like fifties doo-wop, The Vels were an American "new wave" group, briefly signed to Mercury Records (a subsidiary of Polygram) during the mid-1980s, at the tail end of the new wave phenomenon. Perhaps this lawsuit was among the reasons their career was so short-lived. After their first album was released in 1984, two of the three members dismissed the third, then filmed a music video and recorded a second album without him. Plaintiff, the dismissed member, sued the band and their record label, alleging the music video, which featured his voice but not his image, constituted false designation and false description under the Lanham Act. He also included numerous additional claims, such as breach of joint venture agreement and fiduciary duties, tortious interference, and others. Regarding the Lanham charge, the court held that the claims against the record label must be dismissed. Polygram contracted for the rights to use the name, "The Vels," in connection with music provided by the band's joint venture, regardless of who was a joint venturer at the time. More potently, it was authorized to terminate the contract regarding any "leaving member" of the group, and to continue with the remaining members. Plaintiff, whether he liked it or not, was a "leaving member" in Polygram's view. With the sole federal claim dismissed, all other state law claims were dismissed as well. - LSW

Legal Issues
Business Associations Joint Ventures Fiduciary Duties
    Formation, Operation & Dissolution
    Joint Venture Agreement
Conflicts of Law Jurisdiction & Forum Subject Matter Jurisdiction
General Equitable Remedies Accounting
Torts Economic Torts Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts


Opinions Larkin v. Polygram Records, Inc.
1986 WL 6174
S.D. New York , May 23, 1986 ( No. 86 Civ. 1128 (RWS) )


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Related Searches Parties
Former Band Member(s) ( Plaintiff )
Polygram Records ( Defendant )
Vels ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Business Associations / Joint Ventures / Fiduciary Duties
Business Associations / Joint Ventures / Formation, Operation & Dissolution
Business Associations / Joint Ventures / Joint Venture Agreement
Conflicts of Law / Jurisdiction & Forum / Subject Matter Jurisdiction
General / Equitable Remedies / Accounting
Torts / Economic Torts / Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Unfair Competition, False Advertising & Related Torts

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


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