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Press Release - Manatapu

Manatapu and online attacks

"Manatapu is committed to creating exceptional music and delivering unforgettable shows across Malta, Europe, and the world. Last week while celebrating a fantastic performance at one of our favourite Maltese festivals, Earth Garden, we were informed by the organizers that all their social media channels were down, potentially for reasons connected to our band. Upon investigation, we discovered that this disruption was caused by Jogy Bo Smid, a former member who was officially dismissed from the band in 2019 due to misconduct, violence, theft and misappropriation of band funds. Since his departure, Jogy Bo Smid has engaged in a series of malicious actions aimed at sabotaging our online presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify. He is fully aware that Manatapu holds a pre-existing trademark in Malta, and holds rights under Maltese and European law to use the name Manatapu for our music distribution and live performances. Despite this knowledge, he continues to file unfounded and bad faith content takedown requests to undermine our presence. We want to make it clear that Jogy Bo Smid's attempts to register multiple trademarks under the name "Manatapu" are invalid and in bad faith - aimed only at causing disruption, by abusing of the trademark registration system. Our original and Malta-registered trademark holds precedence, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has confirmed this and ruled against his claims on classes and services related to music, particularly with the trademark number 018093527, which he frequently references. His actions appear to be driven by an intent to mislead and damage our band's reputation and commercial interests. After failing to impact us directly, he has now targeted our trusted partners, including some of Malta’s largest festivals and most prominent organizers in the local music industry. This escalation to a direct attack on the Maltese music scene has prompted us to file multiple police reports. His attempts appear to be not only vindictive and maliccious, but are now also allegedly criminal in nature. We are prepared to take all necessary legal measures to prevent further damage to Manatapu and our partners. We want to reassure our fans that despite our current Facebook page being down, Manatapu remains strong. We will continue to release new music and deliver exceptional performances. Stay tuned for our upcoming shows! Thank you for your unwavering support."

- Manatapu

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