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LL Cool J. (Photo: U.S. State Department via Wikimedia Commons)

“LL Cool J is hard as hell / Battle anybody I don’t care who you tell.” So opens LL Cool J’s 1985 hit song, “Rock the Bells,” the title of which was also the name of a now-discontinued music festival. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-nominated rapper is presently battling the founders of that festival, alleging they took the name without asking his permission.

Rolling Stone reports that LL Cool J is suing Guerilla Union Inc. for trademark infringement, claiming that the producers had been using it without ever consulting him. The complaint also alleges “cyberpiracy” over a URL established by Guerilla Union that includes the song title. LL, whose real name is James Todd Smith, says the use of the name is an act of fraud and counts as “unfair competition.”

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.

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