Iconic Disco Group Village People Being Besieged By Can't Stop Productions
Iconic Disco Group, Village People have found themselves in a middle of a court room battle that has caused an angry and confused fanbase. In 1987 the original members of Village People decided to revive the group after a hiatus. The members consisted of Felipe Rose, co-founder and original Native American Indian (1977-present); Alexander Briley, the original GI (1977-present); Randy Jones the original cowboy; the late Glenn Hughes the original leather man; David Hodo the original construction worker; and Ray Simpson the cop & lead singer who replaced Victor Willis in 1979. These original members formed a management company called Sixuvus Ltd for Village People. Since 1987 to the present, Sixuvus has been the group responsible for using the name and keeping it alive and everything that involves Village People which entails performing, booking shows, hiring booking agents, employees, accountants, as well as securing bank loans in times of need. For 30 years the group has toured as Village People all over the world and have appeared on many commercials and TV shows including the MTV Awards, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, the Wendy Williams Show and Family Feud to name a few!After three decades of performing as Village People the group received a shocking call from Can't Stop Production informing them that it believed that Sixuvus no longer had the right to use the name Village People. Can't Stop has filed a lawsuit, presumably at the request of Victor Willis. Sixuvus believes, among other defenses to the lawsuit that will be revealed during the litigation, that the lawsuit brought against them, not only has no merit, but that after 3 decades of using and performing under the name Village People, Can't Stop Productions has either lost any trademark rights it may have had or that Can't Stop and Willis are legally estopped from asserting that Sixufus can no longer use the name Village People and that the court will find that the group can continue using the name they have made a success. Buttressing that position is a March 1st 2009 Preliminary Junction Order, affirmed in a 2/22/2011 settlement agreement between the parties. That order and settlement, restrained and enjoined Victor Willis as well as his associates, agents, etc from engaging, committing, or performing directly or indirectly, any and all of the following acts: disrupting any live performance or public appearance of Sixufus performing as Village People. It is our position that Can't Stop and Willis are violating the settlement and we will be asking the court to enforce it, including but not limited to, the Preliminary Junction Order. The irony is that Can't Stop Production Inc was a cross-defendant in the same lawsuit (on the same side of Sixufus), participated in the settlement conference and is now suing Sixofus from performing live as Village People. That case can be found in Superior court of the state of California, for the county of San Diego - Central District, Case No. 37-2008-98508-CU-BT-CTL. Co- Founder, Felipe Rose states, "As the one and only Native American in the Village People, I was discovered in a Greenwich Village night club by Jacques Morali and I have seen the highs and lows of this group and Disco music. We as a group have survived that and more." Alex Briley says, "We are all saddened by the recent turn of events by Can't Stop Productions/Scorpio Music - Henri Belolo/Jonathon Belolo and the Willis camp. Their legal assault on us, is a clear attempt to end our careers of 37+ years, in the middle of tour dates, disappointing many of our loyal fans around the world." Ray Simpson states, "Our fans have responded over social media and in the court of public opinion. They recognize, that "WE" are the true Village People the world has come to know and love. It is our pleasure and honor to perform for our audiences around the world and look forward to continuing with our careers. In the meantime, let the court decide our legacy and our rightful place in music, doing what we love to do." Also in support of Village People are many testimonials from established music industry veterans who have covered and/or backed the group for the last 3 decades.