Tenors get vocal with the lawyers

When is a design rip-off not a design rip-off? It may be down to the courts to decide, now that the world’s best known opera stars have taken offence at a CD sleeve released by some of the world’s best known amateur golfers.

The Three Tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, are said to be less than amused by the cover of a version of Winter Wonderland recorded by the self-styled Three Fivers, namely funny men Brucey, Tarby and Lynchy.

The tune, released as a “cheeky tribute” to the tenors, lampoons their cover, using a similar typeface and logo. The original tenor cover was the work of Dewynters in London.

The Fivers are said to have been threatened with an injunction if they don’t change their sleeve design.

A legal fracas could be brewing, with the Fivers discounting claims that their sleeve reminds people of the Three Tenors.

While the design debate could run and run, the musical one has been settled. Kenny Lynch has been quoted as wondering how confusion could arise: “Opera it ain’t,” he says of the Fivers’ opus.

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