Los Angeles

SoCal Band Wins ‘David vs. Goliath' Battle Against Media Giant

ViceVersa, an indie band that scrapes to get by, took on media company Vice in a trademark dispute and won

A tiny Los Angeles indie band fought media giant Vice in a trademark battle and won.

Vice Media, a multibillion dollar company, demanded the punk-funk trio ViceVersa change its name. But band frontman Zeke Zeledon, bassist Sarah Corza, and drummer Ariel Fredrickson, who had been playing gigs as ViceVersa mostly in the Los Angeles-area for nearly three years, took their challenge to the web after they received Vice's cease-and-desist letter.

"We are the official ViceVersa band," said guitarist Zeke Zeledon, who posted a video about the outcome here. "We're excited because people know who we are now and we got some notoriety. In a sense we accomplished what we set out to do."

Vice withdrew its challenge to the ViceVersa name last week after numerous phones calls between attorneys. Now ViceVersa can play gigs and record albums without the specter of being sued.

"We're glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck," Vice said in a statement.

The band has played over 150 shows, released two EPs, and several music videos. On a good month ViceVersa brings in about $1,500 from gigs and merchandise.

When they got a letter from Vice, they were nervous.

"It was super stressful," Zeledon said. "Anytime you have to deal with lawyers, it sucks. I don't think they expected the kind of response they got from us."

The band, which stays in a low-rent art studio warehouse in Whittier, started an online campaign to raise money.

The band challenged Vice by posting a video online asking fans if they were confused by the name.

Vice started 1994 as Voice of Montreal and grew into a $2.5 billion international media company.

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