MIAMI (CelebrityAccess) – A company owned by the sons of Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) founder Maurice White (EWF IP, LLC) has sued Substantial Music Group (SMG) and Stellar Communications over tribute shows to the band, billed as “Earth Wind & Fire Legacy Reunion,” calling them imposters with copyright infringement and trademark dilution – which they claim has resulted in confusion and upset fans.
EWF IP, LLC, the right holder of the band’s trademarks following the death of White in 2016 filed the lawsuit Monday (March 6) in a US District Court in Miami – claiming the two companies have falsely marketed their EWF legacy act as “the real thing.”
The lawsuit was obtained by Rolling Stone which explains, there are currently two Earth Wind & Fire acts currently touring. The real version features Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Verdine White and Philip Bailey (the EWF who recently announced the tour with Lionel Richie) and EWF Legacy Reunion, which is made up of unnamed former members.
The lawsuit states, “it has not authorized any band except the real musical group Earth, Wind & Fire to use the name and mark ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’ and other associated logos and images to promote the band’s live musical entertainment services.”
“Get swept up in the musical whirlwind & re-live the glory days under the Maurice White-led era of EWF as Legacy Reunion reunites former members of the EWF family to continue the tradition now Spanning 5 decades,” SMG, which also operates the Billy Joel Band alumni act The Legends of 52nd Street, writes of the EWF Legacy Reunion.
EWF, IP LLC states trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition, and false advertising. They’re asking the court to stop all conduct and damages.