Did you know that only two members of Black Sabbath own the rights to the name? Turns out that is very much the case. Sharon Osbourne confirmed the news during a recent interview on Steve-O's "Wild Ride" podcast.
Steve-O poised a question to Sharon asking if it was true that Black Sabbath reunited a decade ago under her terms because Ozzy owned the Black Sabbath name, with the other members acting as employees. Sharon responded that was almost correct.
"It's about right" Sharon responded, "but Ozzy and Tony [Iommi, guitar] own the name — Geezer [Butler, bass] and Bill [Ward, drums] don't. So it's Ozzy and Tony that own the name, and they are partners in Black Sabbath. So you're kind of right. Ozzy and Tony are equal, and at the time, the other guys, you know, it's kind of like pay-for-play."
Turns out this is due to a 2009 lawsuit which Ozzy filed against Iommi, claiming that Iommi illegally took sole owernship of the name. Ozzy's lawyers argued that his "signature lead vocals" were largely responsible for the success of the band, and further arguing that point saying the band did not get anywhere near the success as during their peak with Ozzy. Lawyers for Iommi argued that Ozzy signed away his rights in 1979. Ozzy's lawyers countered that once Ozzy rejoined the band in 1997, he took over "quality control" of the band's branding and merchandise. It was all settled by June 2010 and Ozzy is now a 50% owner in the name.
Here's the full interview: