ABBA is back, and the group isn’t happy with tribute band ABBA MANIA. This is hardly the first ABBA cover band, but the issue here is the name. ABBA is suing ABBA MANIA for copyright infringement, saying that the tribute band’s use of “ABBA” in their name is “parasitic and [in] bad-faith.”
According to the Swedish group, the tribute band’s name is a “brazen attempt” to take advantage of their “cachet.” The band also claims that by ABBA MANIA including “the term ‘official’ and ‘original’ in many of their marketing materials, website pages, and social media handles,” they give “consumers the impression that there is some kind of association, affiliation, or sponsorship between ABBA and ABBA MANIA.”
When you visit the ABBA MANIA site, it clearly states that “ABBA MANIA is no way associated, affiliated, or endorsed by Polar Music or ABBA.” It’s hard to miss, as it’s labeled on top of every page. But that was still not enough to get ABBA off their backs. In the suit, ABBA allege that they asked the tribute band to change their name, but they refused to comply, so that’s why they are taking legal action.
While there are other ABBA tribute acts, ABBA MANIA is currently the biggest. They performed for 12 nights at London’s West End in 2002, and have remained active since 1999. So, it’s not like they just formed to cash in on ABBA’s return.
This isn’t the only ABBA tribute band that’s faced legal issues, either. A*Teens, that were massive in the early 2000s amongst tweens in the Radio Disney era, had to change their name from ABBA Teens because of that copyright infringement. The group embraced it, as it allowed them to make original pop music while still convincing kids that the music their parents like is actually cool.