Feminist magazine Spare Rib based in Kentish Town in row over name use

Charlotte Raven at her Kentish Town home. Picture: Polly Hancock

Charlotte Raven at her Kentish Town home. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The re-launch of an iconic feminist magazine has been delayed after its original founders threatened legal action over the use of the name.

The first ever edition of Spare Rib in 1972. Picture: Angela Phillips

The first ever edition of Spare Rib in 1972. Picture: Angela Phillips - Credit: Archant

Charlotte Raven, from Bartholomew Villas in Kentish Town, hoped to revive Spare Rib, appointing herself editor in April.

But founders Marsha Rowe and Rosie Boycott have taken issue with some aspects of the newly revived magazine’s business plan and applied to trademark the name two weeks ago, 20 years after the original magazine was last printed.

Ms Raven said: “Lawyers are so expensive and I just thought I would end up spending my life in lawyers’ rooms. I knew it would last a long time and it would be a bitter note to launch the magazine on. It did feel like aggressive action.”

Around 250 people signed up as members to the re-launched magazine, donating £28,000 in total.

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Ms Raven has offered to return money to anyone dissatisfied after the name change was announced on Thursday, June 13.

She said that only six people have asked for their money back.

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Ms Rowe and Ms Boycott initially supported plans to re-launch the magazine but things turned sour after the pair raised concerns that the integrity of the name was under threat.

Ms Boycott said: “We wanted the value of the name to be continued. Sadly we could not reach an agreement and we asked Charlotte to briefly pause while we sorted things out.

“She could have met with us and discussed our questions, and we could have proceeded to issue her the licence for the name.

“She did not want to do this and it forced us to use a lawyer to ask her to wait until we were all happy with the arrangements.”

Ms Raven said: “They didn’t seem to be in any hurry to resolve it. But now this is all out in the open, we can move on with the magazine.”

She will fund the magazine with a paid membership system, which covers the cost of printing without selling any advertising and providing a free website.

Ms Raven has left it up to the public to choose a new name for the magazine and has received 500 suggestions so far.

She and her editorial team, based at her Kentish Town home, will whittle them down to just five before holding an open vote for people to choose their favourite.

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