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HARLEY FLANAGAN (CRO-MAGS) Sues Former Bandmate For Copyright Infringement

The suit claims former Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph violated a 2019 court ruling by using the name for a NYC benefit show.

cro mags harley flanagan

Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan is embroiled in another legal battle with former bandmate John Joseph. This time, the battle is of violation of a legal settlement that was made in 2019 that gave Flanagan the rights to the Cro-Mags name. Flanagan officially filed a federal trademark infringement suit on Monday via Savoia NYC Inc., the business management company run by Flanagan that also manages all Cro-Mags related content.

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The suit alleges that John Joseph used the name "Cro-Mags Jam" for an April 23 benefit concert in New York City's Tompkins Square Park. The use of the name Cro-Mags created confusion about who was performing, according to the court filing.

"The impermissible phrase “Cro-Mags JAM” suggests that Mr. Flanagan, the original member of Cro-Mags, would be conducting a jam session with other musicians—which is obviously not the case," the suit states. "This clearly constitutes unfair competition, trademark infringement, and a material breach of the Settlement Agreement, as it is an impermissible use of [Flanagan's] Cro-Mags Mark," the filing adds.

Flanagan took to Instagram almost immediately to reiterate the hardship he endured to secure the 2019 ruling, and that he would not let others exploit what is rightfully his.

“When you have fought for something that is yours as hard as I have and spent the kind of money that I have you have to protect what you own you can’t just walk away from it when people decide to violate the terms,” Flanagan posted. “I have no problem fighting for what’s mine anybody who knows me knows that. I’m not afraid to do what’s right and I’m not afraid of anyone.”

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Flanagan also took objection to how he was portrayed in a New York Post article that even used photos from his Instagram account. Flanagan is known to often post comedic content to his account, once even filming and posting a small skit of him portraying the late Ray Liotta’s Goodfellas character Henry Hill in the film's classic end sequence.

In the post, Flanagan wrote, "Until you've had to fight for something that is yours as hard as I have you should shut the fuck up. And the New York Post in particular has always taken every opportunity they can to shit on me and twist the truth. I wonder if it's because the NY Post's editor used to have a crush on my wife. Sorry buddy fuck you and your rag of a paper."

Ouch. Keep a close eye on this one, folks. It may get popcorn-worthy at some point. Until then, how about a Cro-Mags classic?!

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