Friday, December 10, 2010

Jazz Name Claim Amicably Resolved

Is this a Ruse to Fair Use Dr. King's Quote re: Jazz, 
or Heartfelt Holiday Wishes?  You Decide.
 Jim Morrison is not the only musician who has been pardoned this holiday season.  In ceremony on Friday, which exuded warmth and openness, the the Jazz world and Jassins came together and reconciled a 95-year dispute over the derivation of the term "Jazz".

Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band
Sometime between 1916 and 1918 the Original Dixieland Jass Band (aka Stein’s Original Dixieland Jass Band), in a lame attempt to obviate the likelihood of confusion with the name Jassin, dropped the word “Jass” from the band's name and replaced it with the word “Jazz”.   

The word "Jazz" stuck, and recording artists and companies and have used the term Jazz to describe what one commentator called "an ever changing and evolving musical style." 

The name Jassin had been used in commerce since at least as early as 1910 -- prior to the date the ODJB adopted the mark, with knowledge of the A. Jassin & Sons butcher shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which purveyed, among other things, flanken and short ribs to a professional klezmer musician named Sol.  

As such, Bix, Fats, Bird, Miles, Trane, Dizzy, Sneezy and Sleepy's widespread misappropriation of "Jass" (and related terms), has long constituted trademark infringement, unfair competition, false endorsement, and dilution of trademark under §§ 43(a) & (c) of the Lanham Act, as well as misappropriation of the right of publicity, and other nasty stuff.  By engaging in this wrongful conduct, they have reaped ill-gotten profits, but given us so much.  

In the spirit of the holidays (which brings pardons to turkeys and dead rock stars), I hereby release any claims I may have against the jazz community relating to the use of "Jass" (or related terms) in connection with Jazz music, which, clearly, has many roots.  Perhaps, Dr. Martin Luther King said it best:

"Everyone has the blues.  Everyone longs for meaning.  Everybody needs to love and be loved.  Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for Faith.  In music, especially that broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these."
Martin Luther King, Jr.,
in his opening address
to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival 
Happy Holidays!

 Law Offices of Lloyd J. Jassin

Law Offices of Lloyd J. Jassin