Since I'm a newspaper editor, I know all too well that it's unwise to opine before hearing all sides.
If you were able to shed any light at all on the reasoning behind the lawyer letter to Barry at KUR, I'm sure it would be helpful to many.
Zappa's Grubby Chamber
Zappa's Grubby Chamber
I am going to take you at your word (without proof or a reason to do so) and answer your question. Thanks for asking. If you want to do the actual research it takes to understand the evolution of this particular circumstance, be my guest. I am not going to recount it for you.
Apart from any real, new, or naive fans seeing our properties on various sites and somehow having the idea that we are supporting these or authorizing them by virtue of their 'use', among other of the many problems that we continue to face as the rights owners of all things Zappa is how to protect our copyrights and what is the risk of failure to do so. This always means spending dollars to chase virtual pennies. Not a great or rewarding plan.
(Oh yes, and they always claim they are spending so much money to honor FZ. Cacadoody. It is the Music, not gossip and fiction and innuendo that bring fans to Zappa.)
My favorite idea of a good time in these instances would be to be able to authorize these "fan" sites and work with them as part of the education and cooperation process - even though that is time-consuming. In the main, these people NEVER write or contact us up front to ask permission. (Considerate fans do.)
Unfortunately it is not always fans - but rather people who have their own agenda and do not wish it to be interfered with. There are so many that cast themselves as 'god' and then cast FZ in their own image. This is not fun for us. Ignorance is ignorable to a degree. But when you see the abuse level increase with the posting of obviously copyrighted material where no permission was sought or even contemplated and when that expands to include the posting of bit torrents or links to them, including work that we just published, the lines get drawn pretty swiftly.
It should be noted that some of this is done on an autopilot basis - in the sense that some of the letters generated by our legal representatives and others happen without being able to advance the possibilities of a resolution. Lately however, as our ability to increase the output from the Vault expands, we are more dismayed than ever at how rude, crude and insensitive these purported "fans" can be. And the proof that they are actually not fans is in their utter disregard for FZ's works and their meanness toward my (FZ's/our) family that they express - along with the considerable abuse of copyrighted materials and trademarks. Real fans do not do that.
The idea that these types are doing us any favors is preposterous. The idea that anyone thinks these properties were created for them to use as they wish is preposterous. But the idea that they have the self-appointed right to to so is against the law as protected under the Constitution of the United States of America and enforced by whatever legal means available to us and to Frank Zappa during his lifetime.
We did not write these laws but they have made it possible for FZ to make a living and to provide for his family doing the very thing he loved - writing Music. And they have made it possible for us to continue to survive preserving those very works. Consider if we could not do so - there would be no Vault.
Since his death people can (and do) make any claim they wish as to what they think FZ would do - or say or think. But I do not wish to waste my time on this. I still work for FZ. And my promise, my duty and my obligation remains - to protect the integrity of the work and the intent of the Composer and in service to this purpose I will defend his identity and the right for his name (image & likeness) to be associated with his work - and the right for the work to remain unaltered, and unabused by others. I will continue to do this for my grandchildren and my children, for all the people who love the music, for all the potential in all those with the ears and insight to hear it - and first, last and always for Frank Zappa. Long may we all laugh.
Music is the Best!