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Merchants Complain of Woodstock Trademark ‘Goons’ With PM-Woodstock, Bjt

August 13, 1994

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (AP) _ Peace, love and commercialism is one of the joking phrases concert-goers are using to describe Woodstock ’94. Some vendors have discovered the joke is on them.

PolyGram Diversified Ventures is confiscating unofficial items from merchants lining the highway outside the concert in Saugerties, 50 miles south of Albany.

PolyGram holds the marketing rights to official Woodstock paraphernalia. If merchants were selling items with the words ″Woodstock″ or ″Saugerties″ on them, or anything resembling the Woodstock dove-and-guitar logo, PolyGram representatives took them, said Bernie Zahn of Leeds, N.Y.

″They were just coming in and grabbing stuff,″ he said. A woman running a souvenir stand next to Zahn’s had about 90 T-shirts confiscated, he said.

John Scher, president of PolyGram Diversified Entertainment, said the company seized ″a lot of bootleg materials″ on Thursday and Friday.

The company considers the counterfeit items stolen goods.

Zahn avoided trouble by selling T-shirts emblazoned with a ″No. 2″ - the ″o″ turned into a peace sign - and the slogan ″just say no to capitalist pigs.″

Meanwhile, the state is trying to get its due.

On Friday, it cited more than a dozen merchants for not registering to remit sales tax. The vendors issued summonses were all operating around the site of the original festival in Bethel, 55 miles from Saugerties, tax department spokesman Karl Felsen said.

Collecting sales tax from vendors inside the concert will be easy because a scrip system controlled by PolyGram is being used there, Felsen said. The merchants will be given their money back at the end of the show, minus sales tax, he said.

While the state will try to ensure that small-time vendors outside the show give the state its due, Felsen said it’s likely some sales taxes won’t be collected.

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