Is Your Band Name Really Your Own?

After several spaced-out nights on a grubby sofa eating nothing but takeaway chicken and a diet of really bad ideas, your bass player suddenly has a flash of inspiration and comes up with a band name that everybody is happy to embrace. Life can finally start again, your drummer can actually brush his teeth for the first time in a month and everybody is happy

Until the band splits up.

In your time together, very little was achieved. You played a few gigs that consisted of cover versions and penned a song or two that didn’t receive the acclaim you thought they deserved. Even so, a small, local following will fondly remember you for your efforts. Surprisingly, your bass player has immediately found a new lead guitarist and drummer and wants to carry on using the band name because, ultimately, he was the one who thought of it.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, you’ve made the difficult decision of maintaining relationships with your drummer, getting in a new bassist and moving on under the old band name. We now have a point of conflict; the bass player is claiming the name as his own but who actually has the right to carry on using it?

Under these circumstances, the right to use the band name would actually stay with you and your drummer. Although no trademark exists for use of the name, the fact that it has been used commercially ultimately sways ownership towards the remaining partnership instead of the individual. Phew! That’s just saved another week of coming up with stupid ideas on that crumby old sofa!

But what happens if another bunch of musicians comes onto the scene using the same band name? Theoretically, your band name is a form of intellectual property that can be preserved and under some circumstances, your rivals might expect to have to relinquish any claims on that name if you can reasonably prove that it has grown sizeably enough in stature to be your own.

One such way of substantiating your claims to a band name is by registering to the Bandnamr database. If you are only just starting out, our basic package serves as a great introduction to our services and offers registration of the band name, a web seal, certificate and a basic listing.

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