Monday, Jan. 5, 2009

By Jason Schossler, Andrews Publications Correspondent

Classic rock band the Eagles is suing a record company that sells "lullaby" versions of the group's hits for allegedly misleading consumers into believing that the band somehow authorized or sponsored the remakes.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the band accuses CMH Records Inc. of trademark infringement over the packaging and marketing of its "Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of the Eagles." Based out of Los Angeles, CMH Records sells a series of albums under the name "Rockabye Baby" that feature instrumental versions of well-known rock songs by such artists as Metallica, Coldplay and Radiohead.

The lawsuit says the Eagles granted the company licenses for 10 tracks, including "Hotel California," "One of These Nights," "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" and "The Best of My Love."

But the band alleges that CMH's packaging of the lullaby album infringes the Eagles' trademarks because the front cover contains a stylized image of a phonograph record that is "suggestive in color and design" of the cover of the successful album "Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2."

The band also alleges that when the lullaby album was distributed to retail stores, a sticker was affixed to the front cover urging retailers to "File under the Eagles."

CMH never obtained permission or consent from the Eagles for the artwork or the sticker, according to the lawsuit.

"The defendant is improperly trading on the goodwill, fame and reputation of the Eagles to sell [its] products by falsely representing to consumers through its marketing and packaging that the Eagles in some fashion authorized, approved, endorsed, sponsored or were connected or affiliated with the album," the complaint says.

The suit adds that CMH has refused to comply with the band's demands to cease marketing the albums "in a manner which implies any endorsement by or affiliation with the Eagles."

The lawsuit seeks an accounting and disgorgement of all profits attributable to CMH's allegedly false advertising.

The band also seeks an injunction barring the marketing and sale of the album in addition to unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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Howard E. King and Seth Miller of King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner, LLP in Los Angeles represent the Eagles.

Source: FindLaw