A former employee is suing Zac Brown and pretty much all of the companies associated with him for copyright and trademark infringement.  I hate to hear news like this.  It's especially disturbing when it revolves around your favorite entertainer.  According to Nashville Gab, the suit also calls Zac Brown out as a bad boss and cites unsafe working conditions.

Kyle Landas is a guy who specializes in fine art that is done in hand tooled or painted leather.  Landas claims that Brown used one of his designs without his permission.  Brown was allegedly given a guitar strap backstage after a show in Burlington, IA. that was embossed with one of Landas' designs.  He was so impressed with the strap that he hired Landas to work at a shop for him in Georgia.

Things went south between the two when Landas claimed that Brown used one of his designs on his "You Get what You Give" album without his permission.  The suit claims that Landas worked in unsafe working conditions, Brown's managers belittled him, and Zac Brown himself became enraged and screamed at him several times throughout his employment.

My Opinion:

It's completely possible that I am incredibly biased because I am a fan of Zac Brown.  I love his music and was also very impressed by Zac himself.  The day I met him he was one of the most down to earth stars I've ever met.  He seemed focused on future goals for the band and appreciative of the people who had helped him get where he was.  He had a "service to the people" type of attitude.  His employees and staff seemed incredibly grateful to be a part of where the band was headed.

So needless to say, I have a hard time believing Landas' story.  Again, I was not there.  I don't know what he's gone through.  I don't know what kind of boss Zac can be.  I've only seen him from a fan's perspective.  But to have seen some very attentive seemingly happy (unless they were putting on a pretty good happy face) staff working for Zac, I can't believe that he's that bad of a boss.

Does he have high expectations of his employees?  Probably.  Did he lose his temper?  That's possible.  But just because you got yelled at at work doesn't mean that your boss is a bad boss.  Sometimes it means that you're not meeting his/her expectations.  Sometimes it's because you're a bad employee.  It's simple as that.

If Landas did experience trademark and copyright infringement then I hope that he does get compensated.  People should get paid for their work.  But I also hope that he didn't make all that stuff up about Zac simply to make a case for himself and paint himself as a victim.  I have always had a very high opinion of Zac Brown on and off the stage and I hope that that can continue.