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Ozzy Osbourne's Black Sabbath Suit Against Tony Iommi Moving Forward

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that Ozzy Osbourne's lawsuit against Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi over royalties can move forward. Osbourne is suing Iommi over claims that Iommi trademarked the Black Sabbath name, and has not paid merchandise and name-rights royalties to other members for quite sometime. Iommi is claiming that Ozzy gave up al his rights when he quit the band in 1979, but Osbourne says he signed on to handle quality control of the Black Sabbath brand in 1997, which would mean he's entitled to some money. Here's Ozzy's statement from last year, when he first announced the lawsuit. 


It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long term partner, Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse. As of the mid-1990’s, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of 'Black Sabbath' was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name Black Sabbath) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997 when Geezer (Butler), Bill (Ward) and myself rejoined the band, Black Sabbath has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name 'Black Sabbath' which lead to the band being inducted into the UK and US Rock & Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the 'Black Sabbath' brand through Ozzfest, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name 'Black Sabbath' now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour. Tony, I am so sorry it’s had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don’t have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We’ve all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old Black Sabbath album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright. We’re all in our 60’s now. The Black Sabbath legacy should live on long after we have all gone. Please do the right thing.” 

[Brave Words]

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Black Sabbath

I of course don't know the whole story, but Ozzy's points are good and easy to support. I hope he wins.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/brandon/216_browser_clut.gif brandon

Also, he definitely had help drafting this note, right?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/brandon/216_browser_clut.gif brandon

Let it go Ozzy. If it wasn't for Tony, there wouldn't have BEEN Black Sabbath. You'd be Nothing, You'd still be back in Birmingham, an alcoholic or dead. Tony worked His fingers off, Him and Geezer came up with All the riffs, all the lyrics, along with other personnel throughout the years, and Tony was the one who kept the Sabbath Name alive all these years. Remember it was Geezer's idea to bring You into the band in the first place. Speaking of 'Your management representatives, it was Don Arden who Brought Jeff Fenholt into the group in 1985. You don't see Jeff sueing because they used His material on the Seventh Star album. He didn't even get any credit at all, and Tony isn't sueing Jeff for whatever profits he might have made off the Star of India demos, which was released under the name 'Black Sabbath Featuring Jeff Fenholt'. "your" management company? Seems to Me it was Don Arden who screwed things up then, and it was Don Arden's fault Jeff split, good thing in the long run, god knows what 'your management' would done with that. A poisonous Father with a Poisonous Daughter. Devil and Daughter.


It's Tony, guys. Isn't it? The man has rubber-tipped fingers! I used to idolize him. Now I listen to guys like Yeasayer and all my former stoner metal friends wear baggy pants.

These are observations.


It's Tony, not Tommy geniuses.


Tony(and Geezer) always has and always will be Black Sabbath. And anybody that is a 'true' Sabbath fan knows this. Tony has my support on this 100%.


Bill: You have your facts wrong. It was Ozzy who suggested Geezer be asked to join the band. And Ozzy and Bill contributed lyrics and entire songs, albeit in the minority, but your assertion that ALL were contributed by Tony and Geezer is false.

Finally, it was Don Arden who against Tony's will kept the Sabbath name on the later albums, not to keep any supposed legacy alive, but to make more money while the legacy was dragged into the mud by lackluster albums and dismal sales.

The Black Sabbath name belongs to four men equally: Iommi, Butler, Ward and Osbourne.


rofl @ brandon. that's a sharon job if i ever saw one.

Real talk, though, word on the street is that ozzy signed away his rights to the sabbath name when he and the band parted ways in 1979. now whether that's still binding or whether reconstituting the classic lineup made the brand more lucrative is sort of immaterial to the point of who owns the brand. axl rose is legally allowed to call his traveling horrorshow "guns n roses" without paying slash, izzy, et al, cause he trademarked the name. if iommi owns the rights to "black sabbath," however sensible ozzy's point is, he loses.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/LongestWinter/moonjpg.jpg CraigJenkins

ozzy has a good point but w/o tony black sabbath would b nothing i mean all ozzy did was sing anyone can sing but tony has got some killer talent


Ozzy is a dick.


You're right: It's Tony, not Tommy. We apologize for the error. It should be fixed now!

/site_media/uploads/images/users/brandon/216_browser_clut.gif brandon

I am a fan of all eras of Black Sabbath but the original is Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward and considering all the cash made from the tours 1997 onwards, I think all 4 original members should own the name equally with merchandise royalties split between all 4 original members, ok im not saying that Ozzy should get royalties from the Black Sabbath CDs he is not on (as the singers on those CDs should get royalties), but as far as merchandise sold today with Black Sabbath on it such as T-shirts, posters and all that, that stuff should be split 4 ways between Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill and when any of them pass out the estates of whoever passes on should own whatever portion the band member owned.

I mean boom originally each band member had 25% ownership in the name and I don't think Ozzy, Geezer or Bill ever legally gave up their 25% of ownerships of the name unless you can prove me wrong.

Ryan McReynolds

Ozzy is nothing but a sellout and yet he wants more and more money. Ozzy is just being a jealous b*tch again becasue the real Sabbath is once again out shining him. Ozzy sucks.


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