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band name protection?

Member for

21 years 2 months
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?

Comments

Member for

18 years 5 months

Rod Gervais Tue, 07/15/2003 - 06:34
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

Rod

Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Tue, 07/15/2003 - 10:45
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

Member for

18 years 5 months

Rod Gervais Wed, 07/16/2003 - 09:53
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:

Rod

Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Tue, 06/21/2005 - 15:12
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.

Member for

21 years 2 months

archived member Wed, 06/22/2005 - 06:56
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.

Member for

19 years 5 months

Kurt Foster Wed, 06/22/2005 - 11:35
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.

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There! I spell checked. Happy?

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