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Concert Streaming Site Wolfgang’s Vault Sued By Led Zeppelin, Santana, Others

Well, you knew this would happen: Some of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest names, including Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana and members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, have teamed up to sue the Wolfgang’s Vault, the site which recently launched a service streaming rare concert recordings (which by the way is an absolutely stellar collection). The service is rock concert promoter Bill Graham’s musical archives…William Sagan, a California entrepreneur bought the assets of Graham for $5 million from Clear Channel Entertainment more than three years ago. The idea was that the service will stream music until it finalizes negotiations for recordings and downloads.
The suit claims the site was illegally offering recordings to stimulate sales of other products (like t-shirts, posters, apparel and others things). “Sagan simply doesn’t have the legal rights to exploit and profit from the extraordinary success of these musicians,” Jeff Reeves, who represents the artists, said in a statement.
Variety: Lawsuit contends that Graham did not have the right to sell, reproduce or otherwise exploit these materials as a promoter, therefore neither does Sagan. Handbills and posters for shows at the Fillmore were customarily given for free to attendees. The plaintiffs are seeking the seizure and return of the recordings, damages and profits Sagan has made plus a permanent injunction barring him from selling items or streaming recordings. (He’s not charging for streaming music.) They are asking for a jury trial.

2 Responses to “Concert Streaming Site Wolfgang’s Vault Sued By Led Zeppelin, Santana, Others”

  1. Zep Fan

    This article was posted in 2006. Here it is 2009 and the Led Zeppelin concerts are still available for your streaming pleasure. Good one Wolfie.

  2. This is a phenomenon that will only get more complex as time goes on.
    Where is the balance between being an artist that wants to share with the world the labor of love and being a commercial entity controlling and profitting off its product? Putting labels and media companies in the equation increases the complexity. Its a public relations dilemma to control ones works while not appearing greedy which is a turnoff to the public. While the site may not be directly profitting off the streams, it is attracting advertisers as well as marketing its merchandise. Its a shame that time has taken Bill Graham from us, I am sure he would have come up with an equitable solution avoiding the litigation.