An Ohio musician has filed a contersuit against Jordan Schur, president of Geffen Records, STAIND, and their management company for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement to enter into an agreement, negligent misrepresentation and concealment of information, trademark infringement, and cyber piracy.
Jon Stainbrook alleges Schur used unlawful conduct to obtain rights to the trademark for the band name STAIND. He also alleges Schur made numerous misrepresentations and false promises to induce Stainbrook into an agreement so that STAIND could use Stainbrook's well-known and longtime established trademark for his band "THE STAIN". Jon Stainbrook has been performing live shows and developing music for TV, video, and DVD for national and international markets with his band, THE STAIN, since 1980. Under his pen name, Stain, Jon Stainbrook has published articles and photography that have been featured in publications such as Thrasher and Creem.
In 2003, STAIND unsuccessfully sued Stainbrook in New York Federal Court, which prompted Stainbrook to file a request with the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) to cancel STAIND's trademark. As result of his USPTO request, STAIND has initiated yet another lawsuit against Stainbrook.
Previously, Stainbrook had refused other bands' offers to use his trademark. In 1994, LIVING COLOUR infringed on Stainbrook's registered trademark, which prompted LIVING COLOUR and Sony to terminate further pressings of the group's 1993 album, entitled "Stain". Also, Stainbrook forced the band LIT, formerly known as STAIN, to change their name.
The following question-and-answer session with Stainbrook was sent to BLABBERMOUTH.NET as part of an official press release:
Q: How did you become involved with STAIND?
Jon Stainbrook: "Sony/Epic had previously tried gaining rights to THE STAIN, but I never made a deal with them. I come from the school of do it yourself and never wanted to sign anything over to major labels. Besides, I was already selling my music all over the world, and I owned it. I didn't take their offer of a recording contract, because I didn't need one or want to get into the confinements of one. Corporate acts like STAIND are created just to sell CDs and pay their way onto MTV and every Clear Channel radio station that will take their money. I have always been against this 'force-fed' style of having music jammed down our throats. It is Orwellian (1984) to say the least. When I did business with bands like FUGAZI, they stayed at my house, crashed on my floor, ate my food, used my shower and Ian MacKaye never had me sign a contract, or vice versa. If he gave me his word, I trusted him to live up to it and he did. It was all on the honor system.
"Fred Durst was probably the first person from the Jordan Schur camp to take an interest in THE STAIN when he saw my band perform while LIMP BIZKIT was in Toledo for a show that I booked. It is a well-known fact that Durst has made many enemies due to his style of doing business and alleged theft of other musicians work. During LIMP BIZKIT's auditions for Wes Borland's replacement, you had to play original music and sign an agreement that anything you played became LIMP BIZKIT property. It makes sense that Durst discovered STAIND, and they share the same lawyer. It is comical to note that Durst supposedly threw STAIND's 'Tormented' album across the room and initially refused to work with them due to the Satanic content. Apparently he changed his mind when the dollar signs started to appear.
"When Jordan Schur first contacted me about purchasing my trademark for STAIND to use, I blew him off. Schur persisted in his attempts to force me into an agreement and told me we could either work out a deal or he would take the identity I spent the last 20 years establishing by burying me in court to force me to default, which would require me to pay the legal fees they incurred while suing me. With all of his 'LIMP BIZKIT' money, I didn't want to spend years in court fighting it out. I decided it was in my best interest to work out an amicable agreement that would be of benefit to all parties. I sold my trademark for THE STAIN, because I relied on the truth and sincerity of Jordan Schur's promises, which included distribution help, 'important friends,' exposure, public relations firms, etc. Schur said, 'STAIND, LIMP BIZKIT, and I will be beholding to you, and we will use our organization and resources to help you. If my litigation accomplishes anything, I hope it will be to teach artists to steer clear of the corporate rock executive crooks."
Q: What caused the lawsuit?
Jon Stainbrook: "This is the second time they have initiated a lawsuit against me. I won the first lawsuit in New York federal court without a lawyer. After being ripped off and deceived by those at the top, like Jordan Schur, to those at the bottom, like STAIND, I was forced to defend myself and hold them accountable for playing games with my trademark and not honoring our agreement. I tried to help them, but they never had any plans on helping me. STAIND and their handlers deceived me since day one. Once they got my trademark, they didn't follow through on their end of the deal. Because they are STAIND, and millionaires, they believe they don't have to adhere to the law or honor their contract with me.
"Shortly after we entered into an agreement, which includes a provision that they are not to perform or sell merchandise in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, or Michigan, they violated it by performing in Toledo, Ohio as a warm-up act for KID ROCK. I confronted them on this and they disregarded me and our agreement.
"When I tried to obtain what Jordan Schur and I had agreed upon, so that STAIND could use MY trademark, everyone pretended they never heard of me before, including Jordan Schur. They avoided my calls and my attempts to meet them in person. I tried to contact three of the band's law firms, their road manager, their management company, and no one knew or cared about what Jordan Schur and I had agreed upon. In an attempt to avoid any legal problems with the band, I left nine messages with STAIND's road manager, Tim Kreig, until I finally was able to reach him. Kreig said Mushok was standing right in front of him. I heard Mike Mushok tell Kreig to tell me that they did not want to talk to me. Kreig told me they were advised to let the trademark expire which would terminate their deal with me forever. I told him they couldn't do that. Later I found out the reason they didn't want to talk to me, they don't even entirely own their band, STAIND is a corporation called 'Tradem, Inc.'STAIND released an entire press release about the lawsuit.
"As far as I'm concerned STAIND committed fraud upon the USPTO when they sent specimens of use which depicted a band from Cincinnati called STAIN. This was necessary to renew the registration. Apparently, their high-priced lawyers didn't notice the band was from Cinci, not Toledo, that I was not in the band, or that the band from Cinci was out of business. STAIND has not only committed fraud upon the USPTO, but also commit fraud upon the public every day. They are marketed as evil, scary, dangerous metal. But in reality, they wear Rolex watches, stay in five-star hotels, travel in jets or air conditioned tour buses, and have their dinners catered backstage by chefs. Maybe the pain that prompted the 'Tormented' album came from Mushok getting a scratch on one his polished guitars."
To view the entire case, go to www.cyberlawyer.com.