May 27, 2024

Frontman ska punk act Sublime with Rome tries to ruin career neofolk act ROME

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Some very dirty business is being unearthed as Jérôme Reuter goes public with the news that he was contacted by an US attorney, ordering him to cease using the name ROME immediately, as his clients – the band Sublime with Rome and its frontman Rome Ramirez – have trademarked the word/name ‘Rome’. This also explains why some of the ROME material has completely disappeared from online platforms such as Apple music, Spotify, etc..

For strategic reasons, Reuter did not go public with this yet until now.

Jérôme Reuter explains: “I had never attempted to trademark “Rome”, as I believe in the sanctity of the idea that is ROME, without needing the approval of any domestic or foreign office. Rome is obviously and most notably the name of a city, but also an empire and stands for an important root of our common European heritage. Trademarking such a name or word is something both impossible and ridiculous. Furthermore, the name happens to be derived from my first name, and thus, I believed there was no need to trademark it – which is a very costly thing in itself anyway, especially for an outfit operating in countless legal territories around the globe. Whatever the little battles and skirmishes of this disgusting modern world, I never wanted any part in them, but I was dragged into this dreadful legal battle by Mr Ramirez nonetheless and I have to defend myself against this attack whether I wish to or not.”

As Reuter did not comply with the US attorney’s demand to cease all activities as ROME, Rome Ramirez has had some of his music (i.e. the most successful and recent releases) banned from online platforms for ‘trademark infringement’, “to show his resolve to push a fellow musician into a corner during the second year of a pandemic”, Reuter adds. Reuter has had to assemble legal teams in both the US and EU to fight this. And this comes with a tremendous financial cost, as you can imagine.

In order to finance his legal actions Reuter is selling some special items via fantotal.

European trademark of the name ‘Rome’ canceled

With the help of his European legal team, he has managed to cancel the opposite side’s European trademark of the name ‘Rome’. Jérôme explains: “This is a partial victory in an a series of battles we are fighting to win this war that was brought to our doorstep. This is also the reason why we were able to reinstate all our music online in the EU. I have never tried to stop Mr Ramirez from using his name, even though he most obviously started using it after me. But I do not believe in going after a fellow musician, especially when times are hard for everyone to begin with. I am deeply saddened that I need to devote what time, money and energy I have to this fight, when I should be working on more important matters.”

Sublime with Rome was born out of… abusing a trademarked name itself

Sublime with Rome is a musical collaboration between Eric Wilson, formerly of the American ska punk band Sublime, and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez. The group’s name is not only a reference to the singer’s first name, but to the fact that they chiefly perform songs by the original Sublime, which was fronted by Bradley Nowell until his death in 1996.

But now comes the biggest surprise… Ramirez began performing with Bud Gaugh (also formerly of Sublime) and Wilson in 2009, where they played under the name “Sublime”, until Nowell’s estate issued a legal challenge to the use of the trademarked name for a venture not including Nowell. As a result, they changed their name to “Sublime with Rome” in January 2010.

A bunch of true punks, in a very bad way.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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