Former ABBA superstars BENNY ANDERSSON and BJORN ULVAEUS are taking legal
action to force bosses of a British tribute show, currently called THANK YOU
FOR THE MUSIC, to change its name.
The songwriters from the 1970s supergroup have ordered director MIKE
TAYLOR to surrender the trademark Thank You For The Music and not use any other
ABBA songs as the touring concert's title.
Taylor is horrified, because the show was originally called MAMMA MIA! -
THE CONCERT, but was forced to change its name after the producers of Andersson
and Ulvaeus' huge West End hit musical MAMMA MIA! issued a High Court writ.
And the day after Taylor paid for the show's name to be changed on posters
and tickets, he received a solicitor's letter from the Swedish duo, banning him
from using the new name.
He complains, "The last legal action cost me $32,300 (GBP17,000) I can't
afford to do this again. I've now spent thousands of pounds changing the names
on everything, from posters to tickets.
"I couldn't believe it when, literally the day after it was all done and
dusted, I received another solicitor's letter saying Bjorn and Benny don't want
us to use the new name either.
"I'd gone through all the correct channels and registered the name as a
trademark. We make it clear we're not the real Abba but a tribute show."
Andersson and Ulvaeus' solicitor counters, "The commercial use of Abba
songs is possible only with the approval of the songwriters. They will not give
it because there will be confusion in the market place."