Music producer undertakes not to use ‘Riverdance’ name for dance shows
High Court asked to injunct Kerry promoter running tribute events in Russia and elsewhere
Kerry music promoter Michael Carr, who is involved in a court case involving Riverdance Ltd at the High Court in Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
A Co Kerry music producer has told the High Court he will not use the name of Riverdance or Riverdance Tribute Show in promotions planned for Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in October and November.
Counsel for Michael Carr and his company Ceol Chiarrai Teoranta also undertook not to use Riverdance names or trademarks in any business letter headings, websites or advertising material promoting Irish dance and music shows in the five countries concerned.
Barrister Brian Kennelly told the court that Moya Doherty and John McColgan’s Riverdance Ltd and Abhann Productions Ltd were willing to accept the defendants’ consent to a court order granting the restraining injunctions they sought.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott had been asked for injunctions restraining the staging of “illicit unauthorised” Riverdance shows by Carr, his company or agents on his behalf.
He had been told the trademark name Riverdance had been used without licence or authority in the promotion of Riverdance Tribute Shows in cities throughout Russia and the Baltic countries concerned.
Mr Kennelly told the court that Mr Carr, of Balconrey, Co Kerry, and his Ballybunion-based company had used copyright pictures and images copied directly from the official Riverdance website.
He said his clients had been tipped off about the proposed tribute shows when a Russian fan base had contacted the Riverdance company in Dublin stating how much they were looking forward to the Riverdance tribute shows which the official Riverdance companies knew nothing about.
Mr Kennelly said Mr Carr was now suggesting to the court that he had blundered into the situation he found himself in and was an innocent abroad.
“He knew exactly what he was doing and he copied from the official Riverdance website for his own website, www.riverdancetribute.com which he admitted he owned,” Mr Kennelly said.
“It is not credible to say this was a terrible misunderstanding. He took a gamble and he was found out and is now consenting to the injunctions being sought against him.”
Paul Anthony McDermott, counsel for Mr Carr and his company, said whether he had taken a chance or had lost or not lost his case would be determined at the full trial of all matters, including his right to use the title Riverdance Tribute Show.
He felt the remarks by Mr Kennelly about taking a gamble and having been found out were inappropriate.
The court heard that in a letter to agents in Russia Mr Carr had stated he had to withdraw from the Riverdance tribute show within Russia or any Baltic state. He had stated in the letter that the Russian agents involved had compromised him and his company by use of the Riverdance name and trademarks.
Mr Carr had stated in the letter he was aware the Russian agents had incurred expenses in promoting the tribute show and he was willing to allow them produce a show entitled ‘The Irish Dance Show’.
Mr Kennelly said contracts for all of the shows involved in “the fake” productions had been agreed and signed in Ireland.
Judge McDermott made the restraining orders pending a full trial of the issues involved and reserved legal costs to the trial judge.
During the High Court application Judge McDermott was told that Abhann Productions Ltd was in a “robust” situation and able to meet its undertaking as to damages should Mr Carr ultimately win his case.
Riverdance Ltd was an intellectual property holding company and as such had not returned a property.
He was told that to the year ended 30the June 2010 and 30th June 2011 the company had turnovers of €28.398 million and €13.059 million respectively and profits for those financial years of €1.355million and €5.961 million respectively.