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Ozzy Osbourne Comments On Black Sabbath Lawsuit

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Band Photo: Ozzy Osbourne (?)

Ozzy Osbourne has issued the following statement regarding his recent legal action against Tony Iommi:

"Below is my official press statement on the official Black Sabbath trademark lawsuit. I am very saddened that I've had to take legal action against Tony. This is something that I've tried to avoid for years. I am not Geezer or Bill's voice. However, till the day I die I will not change my mind on this issue. The Black Sabbath trademark should be equally owned by Geezer, Bill, Tony and I as the true Black Sabbath lineup is Tony, Geezer, Bill and I. We've all been mates since school. I've always said there is an invisible thread that holds us together. Tony, lets get this ridiculous issue sorted and move on with our lives. You're 61, I'm 60. I hope that we've got a good 20 years left in us. But if not, God forbid something happens to you. What's going to happen to the Black Sabbath trademark? Who's going to oversee it? Don't you think after we're long gone the rights should stay in your family, my family, Bill's family and Geezer's family?

"It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long term partner, Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse. As of the mid-1990's, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of 'Black Sabbath' was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name Black Sabbath) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997 when Geezer, Bill and myself rejoined the band, Black Sabbath has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name 'Black Sabbath' which lead to the band being inducted into the UK and US Rock & Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

"Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the 'Black Sabbath' brand through OZZFEST, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name 'Black Sabbath' now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour. Tony, I am so sorry it's had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don't have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We've all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We're all in our 60's now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing."

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27 Comments on "Ozzy Osbourne Comments On Black Sabbath Lawsuit"

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Anonymous Reader
1. **sabbathrocks** writes:

i see where ozzy is coming from. its a shame these legendary figures in metal have had a dispute such as this. i really like the band heaven and hell with dio/appice, however, i wish sabbath could reunite with ozzy osbourne, tony iommi, geezer butler, and bill ward. i love dio, but ozzy just had that doomy voice that acted as the icing on a cake. regardless of the outcome, long live black sabbath.

# May 29, 2009 @ 8:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathfreak's avatar

Member

2. deathfreak writes:

That was not ozzy that was sharon. I dont even think ozzy can write anything like this. Ozzy is still good but this is not his work.

# May 29, 2009 @ 9:20 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
goatlady's avatar

Writer

3. goatlady writes:

deathfreak, I reckon it's their lawyer and PR person doing the actual writing... but that's beside the point. It IS a valid point, they should all own it equally.

# May 29, 2009 @ 9:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathfreak's avatar

Member

4. deathfreak writes:

Yea they all should get part. But I want to hear what ozzy has to say not a pr person or a lawyer.

# May 29, 2009 @ 9:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

Member

5. godlike writes:

I really don't think any of us could understand Ozzy saying anything about this ;-)

# May 29, 2009 @ 9:47 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. wickawickawilywoo writes:

why is this an issue....give him 25% of everything he was a part of its not even all the sabbath he gets profits on just like the first 4 albums right??

# May 29, 2009 @ 10:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
grim's avatar

Member

7. grim writes:

wick...what about the other 4 albums he didfollowing the first 4? or We Sold Our Souls For Rock'n'Roll and other compilations/collections and as he mentioned the merch revenues.

i get his point but hes off on the equal split point he and even bill ward though integral parts of the original group were not as important as tony and geezer who not only played on more albums but were the main songwriters (music and lyrics), creative and directional leaders of the band, i would think they deserve more recognition/ownership of the trademark and catalog something like 40% tony 25% geezer 15% bill and ozzy and split the remaining 5% between the rest

# May 30, 2009 @ 12:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Valley_of_the_Dead's avatar

Member

8. Valley_of_the_Dead writes:

I doubt Tony will let this slide, Ozzy has a valid point of course, but has now f@cked any possibility of another Sabbath (original line up) tour!!!

# May 30, 2009 @ 12:56 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. RTB writes:

If this is adequet, then this is the right move from the osborne camp...of coarse we havent heard from toni yet as well as the other 2 members,...eagerly waiting for those responses.

# May 30, 2009 @ 1:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. Purehatred07 writes:

Dam is Ozzy poor already ????? lol.

# May 30, 2009 @ 1:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
That_One_Guy's avatar

Member

11. That_One_Guy writes:

I can definitely see where Ozzy is coming from - though this sounds like Sharon definitely. He's just asking for his share of the merch sales that he deserves. It makes him look bad, but I can see where he's coming from.

# May 30, 2009 @ 2:26 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jackrum's avatar

Supporter

12. Jackrum writes:

theres a lie there already ozzy, you aint been mates since school. you showed up to audition one day.. that has been well documented.

# May 30, 2009 @ 2:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. AlexE writes:

valid point, yes ... but why not try and sort it out privately, without dragging it into the limelight and Sabbath's name into the mud. Every time Ozzy does something like this, I lose a bit of respect for Sabbath ... they are THE founding metal band, and should act as it, not like spoilt brats thinking that because one of their number has more money they should argue - c'mon, Ozzy's got enough cash to last him a few generations at least!

# May 30, 2009 @ 5:47 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

14. Diamond Oz writes:

Didn't Iommi used to bully Ozzy at school? And he auditioned for them when they saw his advert "Ozzy Zig, requires gig." I don't think they're as close as this is trying to make them out to be. Whatever.

I've seen Black Sabbath with the original lineup and to be honest, they got their arse handed to themby several other bands on the bill, including Motorhead who've been around nearly as long. They were good, but let sleeping dogs lie on this one. No need for them to get back together.

I don't really see the need for this lawsuit. It would be like Al Atkins saying to Judas Priest, "I created the name, so I wanted 50% of everything Judas Priest has ever made." It's sad.

# May 30, 2009 @ 6:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. the goose goblin writes:

I guess this is what happens when Ozzfest doesn't tour for two years...not to mention 'freefest' the year before that.

# May 30, 2009 @ 11:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
That_One_Guy's avatar

Member

16. That_One_Guy writes:

Oz -- Good point on the Priest thing.

# May 30, 2009 @ 11:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. haha writes:

um does 'she' not realize Dio 'was' in the band?

# May 30, 2009 @ 12:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. spiral_architect writes:

ozzy deserves 1/4 of profits from the sabbath albums he sang on, and 1/4 of profit every time his likeness is used under the sabbath name. HOWEVER.....ozzy has to understand he was only one of sabbath's vocalists, and that other versions of sabbath are equally artistically valid. heck, ronnie james dio and ian gillan are actually better singers. i don't think anyone can deny that.

# May 30, 2009 @ 2:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jamez's avatar

Member

19. Jamez writes:

My view is Ozzy deserves 25% of the stuff he was involved in and that's that. Black Sabbath have moved on since Ozzy and Ozzy has moved on since the Sabbath days. I wonder when all the ex-Megadeth members start asking their share. Mustaine wouldnt be left with much if all that went through!

# Jun 1, 2009 @ 5:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

Member

20. wilco writes:

maybe he will sue zakk wylde soon as well
for playing some ozzy songs live


bls no more tears

# Jun 1, 2009 @ 3:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Txmetalhead's avatar

Member

21. Txmetalhead writes:

I like both bands - but Black Sabbath is still one of my favorites. Ozzy with them was outstanding.
RJD is pretty good too.

# Jun 1, 2009 @ 8:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
-JustAnotherNumber-'s avatar

Member

22. -JustAnotherNumber- writes:

Ozzy put his name on that statement so that makes it is for one. And he isnt suing for money, he is just suing for them all to have an even take in the name since without any of them, Black Sabbath would have been nothing. Now this does incorporate with it the profits from the name but if they were to make a contract kind of agreement between all of them they could set certain exclusions, such as Ozzy not getting royalties for albums and songs he had no part of.

# Jun 1, 2009 @ 9:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rychemn's avatar

Member

23. Rychemn writes:

Like Ozzy or Sharon are trying to say, what's fair is fair, do the right thing, this includes royalties to Dio and Gillian, Mr Iommi needs to stop being greedy or (in my opinion) he'll end up like that other greedy prick, Gene Simmons. Years fom now, long after we are dead and gone (you can't take it with you Tommi!!!!!) it will all be about the legacy we leave behind, especially to our children.

# Jun 1, 2009 @ 11:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
24. Holly276465 writes:

I think that there may be too many large egos for one band in this situation. Just like Metallica. The entire world would just explode if they had a dispute parallel to this one. hahaha.

# Jun 2, 2009 @ 2:34 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
XWigglesX's avatar

Member

25. XWigglesX writes:

Money money money!

# Jun 2, 2009 @ 6:40 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

26. Diamond Oz writes:

Must be funny!

To be fair to the comparison between Tony Iommi and Gene Simmons, Iommi isn't whoring the Black Sabbath name like Simmons is with KISS. You can't buy Black Sabbath toothbrushes, dolls and mobile phone covers (as far as I know.)

The material Sabbath did with Ozzy will always be my favourite stuff they did but that's because the music was so gripping. Ozzy as a vocalist is pretty poor and while he might be their most well known singer, was never as good musically as anyone Sabbath had after him. He's a great frontman and a showman, but when it comes to his singing abilities, I think Sabbath could have done just as well with another vocalist.

# Jun 2, 2009 @ 2:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
-JustAnotherNumber-'s avatar

Member

27. -JustAnotherNumber- writes:

Oz I agree with Ozzy being a poor vocalist, and Sabbath MIGHT of found a better one. However, with a band like Black Sabbath it isn't so much the vocal skills that matter as much as the fact they had a great chemistry because they were all close friends and he is (or was anyway) a great lyicist.

# Jun 3, 2009 @ 7:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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