Showbiz trade Variety will be settling its long-running lawsuit against O.C. punk band The Vandals.
The newspaper initially came after the group for their use of lettering on the 2004 "Hollywood Potato Chip" album cover, claiming it resembled their trademarked logo.
The band changed the cover and agreed to pay $50,000 and attorneys' fees if the artwork should ever resurface. In 2010, lawyers for Variety sued the band, claiming they had breached the deal when images appeared on various websites.
Joe Escalante, the Vandals' bassist/lawyer, told the Hollywood Reporter that this "crash course in federal court litigation" was the worst thing "that's ever happened to me, and to the band, and the hardest thing I've ever done."
Escalante claimed the band wasn't behind the website postings and openly spoke out against Variety's lawyers on the band's website:
"The Plaintiffs should all be ashamed and it is the Vandals' opinion that [Variety's lawyers] are liable for malpractice damages by ruining their client’s reputation in a frivolous attempt to act like Godzilla when it comes to hoarding their precious font and inhibiting protected free speech."
A motion to dismiss is expected soon, and Escalante hopes the ordeal will be a lesson for media outlets and legal teams in dealing with "First Amendment issues in the Internet Age." Variety reportedly agreed to drop the case without requiring a cash settlement.