Teflon Don (Florida ska) faces legal battle against Memphis rapper for name rights

Florida ska punk outfit Teflon Don are in a tight spot. Some weeks ago, their Facebook page was deleted from the web based on a complaint from Memphis rapper Donald Askew. The rapper claimed to own the trademark to the name Teflon Don, and without further investigation by Facebook, the ska band’s page was immediately taken down.

A statement by the band sheds some light on the unfolding events:

“The band immediately reached out to Facebook and notified them the rapper didn’t currently own the trademark. . .Facebook responded that the only way they could restore the page, which housed tons of media posted by fans and friends of the band, was to be notified by the Memphis rapper. When the band reached out to Askew, both personally and legally, they received written permission to re-name the ska band Tef London, but he refused to notify Facebook to restore the band’s page and refused to discuss the matter.”

Tef London will launch a new Facebook page on Monday, May 27, 2013 at facebook.com/teflondonskaband and will be giving away CDs and t-shirts at random for every 100 likes they receive in attempt to offset their huge loss of connections on social media.

Individual band members had their own comments on the issue:

Chris King (trumpet): “We’re bummed. It’s hard. We sing songs about sticking up for what’s right, and the challenges we find in the face of what’s wrong. We’re a band built on community, and doing the right thing- which may not always be easy, but it’s what the music industry needs.”

Jenny Morrison (bass/vox:) “It’s been tough and disheartening; I know we’ve all lost a lot of sleep over it. We know the industry can beat you down, but I hope that we’ll never be the ones who beat down others in return. We want to support fellow musicians- or anyone pursuing something they’re truly passionate about.”

Angel Santiago, (bari sax): “Re-branding is expensive – especially in an industry where we’re often offered very little money to perform. The very least we can do is give back to the fans who’ve supported us through all of this.”

Donald Askew, the Memphis rap artist, is allegedly pursuing legal action against Rick Ross(whose fourth album is entitled Teflon Don), DJ Khaled, Def Jam Recordings, Universal Music Group, Slip-N-Slide Records and Maybach Music Group.

In the meantime, click here to check out some of the band’s music.

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  1. 5/28/2013 1:38 PM | Permalink

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