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band name protection?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by evhwanabe, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    Just got an email today from some guy in Mass. that is in a band with the same name as mine. Says they have been together 5 years and released 2 independent albums. We have only been together a year and are working on our first independent album. I would hate to have to change our name because we are just starting to draw some crouds and I am sure if we changed our name it would just set us back! What should I look into or do?
  2. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    I noticed on your website that you indicate a 2000 copyright - is that on the band name?

    I am not an attorney... and thus would not make a reccomendation .. however - if your name is copyrighted i would suggest you you hire one.......

    I know that with songs - the copyright is automatic once the song is released for sale to the public......... I don't have any idea if this is also true for the band name - although i suspect it is not.

    The material in the song is generally protected for the creator of the song - not the band who performs it.

    Once again - hire an attorney would be my best reccomendation - one who specializes in copyrights.

    Good luck

  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I am actually going through this at the moment. To have recourse, you have to have registered the name as a trademark. You can't copyright a name. Kurt
  4. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    Yeah I looked into it, I guess you need a service mark and not a trade mark, so I am told. It seems like a big PITA and costs about $340 for a federal one. I am not sure the name is worth that much to me, LOL
  5. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    Thanks for the correction...... :tu:

    maybe they felt the same way about the cash - and he who gets there 1st wins....... to me $340 doesn't sound like a lot of money to keep my followers.

    Wish you luck however you go..........

  6. evhwanabe

    evhwanabe Guest

    yeah if we had been around longer than a year and followers from all over the country than the $340 would be a no brainer. We are just playing locally, and most of our fans are local, so now after thinking about it and talking with the rest of the guys I think we are going to change it. If I were in these other guy's shoes and on the verge of making it and had someone try to take my name I would probably be pretty pissed LOL. Oh well back to the drawing board! Know of any cool band names? LOL
  7. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Actually - i looked into this a wee bit more - and it is much like a copyright - once it goes into the public forum - technically it's protected - the only question is whether it is recorded or not........ so if they have CD's out for the last 5 years - then by how i read the federal statutes - it seems they are the legal Owners of the "service mark".

    Good luck with your new name......... :c:

  8. moleman462

    moleman462 Guest

    I've been there myself. My old band had the same name as a band that recently got signed by Sony. It was pretty close as far as who was using it first. But we had registered the trademark or servicemark on it in our state (IL). We posted on their message board, and shortly thereafter, their album came out under a different name.

    What it comes down to is "first in use" and "first in commerce" which means you need to actually use the name, like play a show under that name, make a business card, make a website, any of those, then you've got dibs. So, you would lose if you tried to keep your name since the other band beat you to it.

    Oh, and the state registration is only like $20 or so.
  9. You have to remember that a state registration applies only to your state. If you have it registered in your state, no one can sell an item or event under the same name in your state without your written consent. However, they can do it just on the other side of the state line. The other band changed their name because one goal of marketing is to not alienate any potential buyers.

    Also, some friends of mine in a band on the Flicker label named "subseven" had the mark registered in the US. There IS a German band who had to change their name because it would not allow them to sell or play in the US or US Territories even though they had been around and using the name longer. (The US band had no clue about this German band when they chose their name). The German band changed their name to "Sub7even". First use doesn't matter internationally.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Sometimes it's easier to switch horses before you cross the stream. So consider that. If you suspect that they are bluffing, continue to use the name until you receive a "Cease and Desist" letter from their attorney (unless for some reason you feel it is morally wrong to do so).

    A lot of people are in the same boat as you are ... they don't want to pony up the cash to litigate. Until they are making a huge wad of dough with the name, it is not likely they will pursue the issue any further than threats. Once you know they have an attorney involved, you know they mean it. BTW, be sure to check out any Attorney's names in the process. A lot of times people will fake a letter. Call the Attorney of record and ask to speak with them. If it's for real, at that point I would capitulate.

    There! I spell checked. Happy?
  11. Sanity Inn

    Sanity Inn Guest

    Heres A link to Trademarking


    i used to have my sanityinn web site til it lapsed and the " contender" guy took it, now i need to fork out 300 bucks if i want the donaim,,

    so make sure you keep eye on that stuff too,,,

    other then that , good luck with the issue


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