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The Doors of the 21st Century Must Pay Damages for Using The Doors Name

On Aug. 13, the California Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal involving ex-members of The Doors and the damages they were found to have caused by touring in 2003 as The Doors of the 21st Century, Law.com reports.

The article states the decision (or lack thereof) cemented the $3.2 million in damages that keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger must pay drummer John Densmore, the parents of the deceased lead singer Jim Morrison, and the parents of Mr. Morrison’s deceased wife.

Messrs. Manzarek and Krieger could be liable for another $2 million in attorney’s fees. An appellate court is considering their appeal that the award was excessive.

In the suit, Mr. Densmore said he didn’t object to Messrs. Manzarek and Krieger playing The Doors songs, as long as they didn’t call themselves The Doors or use the former band’s logo and imagery.

Messrs. Manzarek and Krieger made use of The Doors’ name, logo, and imagery anyway in 2003 when they went on tour with Ian Astbury, former lead singer of The Cult. The tour netted $3.2 million, none of which went to the plaintiffs.

Their doing so was found to have breached the band’s written contract requiring unanimity on business decisions.

In March, the Ninth Circuit found in Mr. Manzarek’s favor in a bad faith claim stemming from his insurers’ refusal to pay the plaintiffs’ damages award. (STL post here.) 

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