Friday, July 24, 2009

POST IT! - NAME THAT BAND - July 24, 2009



Duz Ramjam Mancini asks:

Hey John, How do I copyright my new band's name? D

Hartmann responds:

Hi Duz; The arbiter when it comes to band's names is the American Federation of Musicians. 95% of gigs above the club level are conducted under union contracts and the AFof M has jurisdiction. they say what you can call yourself on that contract. You can research names through Local 47 on Vine St. in Hollywood. Call membership and ask for representation on (name your band here) if they don't have one, the name is free. When two bands share the same name. The one who can prove first use of the name wins. The best way to establish ownership is to play a gig that will be advertised in some publication with a printed date. Or your name on a ticket with a date on it also works. The great hip hop artist Common was originially called Common Sense. A group I managed shared the name. My CS proved in court that they used the name first by presenting a tiny 3" x 5" ad for a gig in a bar in Laguna Beach. Common changed his name and became a star. Common Sense died proud owners of a great name. Copyrights on brands and names can come later when there's dough and a reason. Until then the web domain is the most important thing to lock up. And, book a gig with a date on it. Lock that away in a safe place. Pax. .j.

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