It’s between a Rock and a Hard (Rock?) place, now that the protagonists have climbed into the legal ring.
In this corner, wearing the trunks of plaintiff, is the mighty Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, out of Cleveland, Ohio.
In the black trunks, the challenger, the upstart defendant which exists only virtually, in the form of its website, the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A lawsuit was filed on Monday of this week in Cleveland.
David Segal, manager of the brash contender and a staff writer for the Washington Post in his spare time, said in an Associated Press story that “The idea the public could possibly be confused between a large museum backed by any number of corporations and a Web site run by a couple of Jewish guys is nuts.”
I give a huge shout-out to Segal for getting about $1 million worth of free publicity for his Web site without paying a penny — at least, not yet.
The bricks-and-mortar version is asking for the Web site to immediately drop “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” from its name, along with unspecified monetary damages.
Here’s the best part: the Web site hasn’t even been launched yet.
It’s scheduled to go up next month.
The domain, JewsRock.org, currently states: “Future home of JewsRock.org.”
Jeffrey Goldberg, whose hobby is being a New Yorker staff writer, is another of the Jewish rock hall’s founders.
He told the Associated Press, “It seems to be improbable that these people own rock ‘n’ roll,’ it’s entirely unlikely they own the phrase ‘hall of fame,’ and I know for sure they don’t own the Jews.”
A third Jewish rock hall founder, Allen Goldberg, who sometimes hangs out at XM Satellite Radio, where he’s an executive, was also named as a defendant.
According to the lawsuit, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month denied the Jewish rock hall’s application for a trademark on its name based on the likelihood of “confusion with the Rock Hall” trademarks.
Following the ruling, the rock hall demanded the Jewish rock hall stop using its trademarks, similar logos, and the words “Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” but the Jewish rock hall refused.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1995 in a glass pyramid building alongside Lake Erie, and has attracted more than 5.5 million visitors.
I’m amazed at how feeble and ugly its Web site is.
I guess there just wasn’t any money left over after paying all the legal bills that piled up from suing their lifeblood — the people who love rock and roll.