Updated: Here’s the statement from Arch Apparel regarding the issue, in which they state that they did receive a cease and desist order from Jacks and are currently discussing the issue with them. This article, on original publishing and current publishing, did not make reference to any lawsuits, only the cease and desist orders reported by both KMOX and Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
You know, the story of the Blues visiting Jacks NYB in Philly back in January, hearing Laura Branigan’s “Gloria,” and turning their season around is probably one of the most fun stories that the Blues can lay claim to. Fun dive bar? Check. Banging 80s song that even the cynical South Park kids like? Check. A Stanley Cup? Sure, throw that in there too.
The city of St. Louis will always be thankful for your contribution to St. Louis Blues history, guys.
And you know what, what better way to celebrate your completely arbitrary, probably unnecessary contribution to St. Louis history than by being a bunch of money grubbing buzzkills? The bar is sending cease and desist orders to Arch Apparel, the Blues themselves, and anyone else who has put the phrase on a t-shirt.
Guys, come on. You’re literally not the first person or the last person to say those words. Will the phrase only apply to Branigan’s song, or what about Van Morrison’s? God forbid someone shout “play Gloria!” at a bar band and mean the latter. Oops, sorry, you owe a bar in Philly $500 bucks for licensing.
How do I ask my Google Home to play the song without coughing up some change?
From the article:
KMOX legal analyst Brad Young weighs in:
”Their argument is, is that because that phrase was first used in the bar then they have a right to use that, an exclusive right to use that phrase,” Young says.
Jacks has to prove that their bar was the first place to use it in the 37 years it’s been since the song was released. They can’t say that they own the context, because the initial “Play Gloria” had absolutely zero to do with the Blues; the Blues fans themselves were the ones who created the context.
That may be part of the reason this fails.
Young doesn’t buy it. For one thing he says, the timing works against them.
”Had they asserted that while the Blues were in the midsts of their run, that would have generated enormous bad will against that particular bar,” Young says. “The problem is that by waiting to assert their alleged rights to this trade name/copyright, then at that point they’re allowing their interest to be what’s called, diluted.”
Apparently the problem arose once people started making money off of a phrase that Jacks weren’t the first ones in history to say, and that Jacks didn’t create the context for.
Needless to say, Arch Apparel started back up printing their shirts. Maybe Jacks needs to get some better lawyers.