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2003.03.31 - Rolling Stone - The Offspring Scoop Axl (& later related articles)

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2003.03.31 - Rolling Stone - The Offspring Scoop Axl (& later related articles) Empty 2003.03.31 - Rolling Stone - The Offspring Scoop Axl (& later related articles)

Post by Blackstar on Sat May 30, 2020 10:46 pm

The Offspring Scoop Axl

Band swipes “Chinese Democracy” title for new album

By GIL KAUFMAN

Axl wasn’t using it, so the Offspring decided they would. The Southern California punk group has announced that their upcoming album will be called Chinese Democracy, a name that Guns n’ Roses leader Axl Rose has been touting for at least three years as the title of the first new album of Gn’R material in a decade.

“You snooze, you lose,” Offspring singer Dexter Holland said. “Axl ripped-off my braids, so I ripped-off his album title.” The album, produced by Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen), is slated for a late spring release.

You’d think that snatching an album title was a no-no, but the Offspring are on pretty solid legal ground, according to a copyright expert. “Trademark law does not come into existence unless the title is used in interstate commerce,” according to copyright lawyer and co-author of Musician’s Business & Legal Guide,” Greg Victoroff, who added that copyright law does not extend to titles.

“[Right now], they’re just two ordinary words,” Victoroff says. “Under that analysis, it would seem that Guns n’ Roses have no right to that title and the Offspring are free to use it in any purpose they wish.” He adds that unless Gn’R’s label has issued press releases touting the album, or the band has toured
extensively under the album’s name, then they have no real claim to the “Chinese Democracy.”

The still-gestating Gn’R album has been touted in several press releases and mentioned in the release announcing the group’s aborted 2002 North American tour, but it has not yet been scheduled for release.

According to Victoroff, trademark law was enacted to protect consumers from being confused, and though both Offspring and Gn’R play hard rock-inspired music, the Offspring should be safe as long
as they are clearly named on the album’s cover.

While a source close to Guns says a letter from Rose’s camp warning the Offspring not to use the album title was sent earlier this year, an Offspring spokesperson denied the existence of such a letter. Neither band’s management could be reached for comment at press time.

The Offspring are notorious for their pranks. In another tweak at a pop culture icon, the band sold bootleg Napster t-shirts on their Web site in 2000, drawing a cease-and-desist letter from the now defunct file-trading site; the order was later rescinded.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-offspring-scoop-axl-247966/


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Blackstar on Sun May 31, 2020 9:28 am

Related article on MTV News, April 1, 2003:
------------------------------------------------------

Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy Snatched By Offspring

California punkers decide to call their next album Chinese Democracy.

The Offspring probably didn't get Axl Rose's vote for naming their new album Chinese Democracy.

The Orange County, California, punkers snatched the title from Guns N' Roses' long-awaited and much-delayed album, according to a band spokesperson.

You snooze you lose," Offspring singer Dexter Holland said in a statement. "Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title."

Holland referred to Rose's new hairstyle, which was premiered at last year's MTV Video Music Awards. Holland, meanwhile, has long since retired the 'do he rocked during Offspring's breakthrough LP, 1994's Smash.

Produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine), the Offspring's Chinese Democracy, their follow-up to 2000's Conspiracy of One, is scheduled for an early summer release. GN'R's LP, meanwhile, remains in limbo.

Whether the Offspring's jack move will cause Rose to alter plans for moving forward with the title he has been flaunting for about seven years is not yet known. An Interscope spokesperson did not return calls by press time.

Should Axl stick to his guns, which he has every legal right to do, it wouldn't be the first time several albums shared a title. Home, for instance, has been used by, among others, Spearhead (1994), Deep Blue Something (1995), Sevendust (1999), and most recently, the Dixie Chicks (2002).

Reports that surfaced last week claiming the Offspring were to call their new LP Chinese Democrazy (You Snooze You Lose), originated from a fan site and were never confirmed by management, according to the Offspring's spokesperson. Another post on that same site also alleged that Rose's attorney's sent the Offspring a cease-and-desist letter, of which management said it had no knowledge.

Coincidentally, Josh Freese, who played with A Perfect Circle and is now the replacement for departed Offspring drummer Ron Welty, also worked with Rose on his Chinese Democracy.

— Joe D'Angelo

http://www.mtv.com/news/1470891/guns-n-roses-chinese-democracy-snatched-by-offspring/
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Post by Blackstar on Sun May 31, 2020 2:25 pm

Apparently all that was a prank/joke. A few days later, Offspring guitarist Noodles would say that the album in the works didn't have a real title yet:
Noodles wrote:Josh Freese is playing with us on all the new material for this record. Josh is an okay drummer (you may have heard of him) and a longtime friend of ours. We are super thankful that he was able to help us out on what was pretty short notice. His playing sounds awesome and I know you're gonna love these songs. We don't have a (real) title for the record yet, but have been kicking around some ideas. The two new songs still don't have lyrics, so one of them, in keeping with tradition, will probably suggest the whole record's title.
Source: Official Offspring Website, April 2, 2003
https://web.archive.org/web/20030608214157/http://www.offspring.com/noods_features.html

And on September 9, 2003, the following announcement was posted on the Offspring website:
09.09.03 - NEW ALBUM DETAILS ANNOUNCED!

Punk rock band The Offspring is changing the name of their new disc, acknowledging that the decision to title the album Chinese Democracy had somehow caused production to come to a halt. "That album title jinxed us," said singer Dexter Holland.

The new Offspring CD will now be called "Splinter". The release is scheduled for December 02, 2003.
https://web.archive.org/web/20031019125214/http://www.offspring.com/
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Post by Blackstar on Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:40 pm

MTV News, October 23, 2003:
OFFSPRING EXTEND SPLINTERED OLIVE BRANCH TO GUNS N' ROSES
PUNK BAND AX CHINESE DEMOCRACY TITLE, SETTLE ON SPLINTER.

ARCHIVE-JON-WIEDERHORN
10/23/2003


Axl Rose can breathe a sigh of relief. His album title, Chinese Democracy, is safe for now.

After threatening to call their seventh studio offering Chinese Democracy, melodic California punk band the Offspring have decided to name the LP Splinter. The record comes out December 2; the long-awaited Guns N' Roses disc still has no release date.

In April, Offspring vocalist Dexter Holland posted a message on the band's official Web site that read: "You snooze, you lose. Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title." Not long after, Rose's lawyers called Holland's lawyer, but that's not why the Offspring abandoned the democratic process.

"I don't think we ever seriously considered using that name," Holland said. "But we could have if we wanted because you can't copyright or trademark an album title or a song title. Think of all the songs that are called 'I Love You' or 'Baby, Baby.' "

The prankster punks, who have been bashing around the Southern California scene for 18 years, chose to ultimately call their record Splinter for one of two reasons — depending on whether they're being silly or straight.

"We found that our records with one-word titles tend to do better than the ones with multiple-word titles," Holland joked before getting real. "Actually, it's because this record is pretty diverse and splintered. A lot of the songs are told in first person through these different voices that are slightly demented like a splintered personality."

[...]
http://www.mtv.com/news/1479903/offspring-extend-splintered-olive-branch-to-guns-n-roses/
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