HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR BAND NAME?

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HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR BAND NAME?

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:44 pm

What about our band's name, how do we protect or copyright that?

There is no copyright as such in a band name or song title and so there is no system for copyrighting band names. However you may create an artistic copyright in any logo you may design around your band name. As with artwork, if someone else designs your logo for you they may be the first owner of copyright, and you would need to get them to assign copyright in the logo to you. An assignment of copyright must be in writing and signed by the copyright owner assigning the copyright. As with artwork, if you pay the designer of your logo, you can ask him to state on his signed invoice that you are paying for the design and copyright in it.

Perhaps the most effective way to protect your band name is to register it as a trademark. This can prove expensive and will only be effective in the territory in which you register, although it is now possible to register a European trademark, which includes the UK. To gain world wide protection, you would have to register in every territory of the world.

The Intellectual Property Office ( http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-find/t-find-text.htm ) can provide information on registering a UK or European or International trademark, and you can also search the UK trademarks register online to discover whether anyone else has already registered the name as a trademark in the UK. You can undertake a similar search online for US trademark registrations( http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=v3vtu7.1.1 ).

Many bands now have their own websites and you can make a "Who Is" search to see if any have used your band name as a domain name (which may mean they are performing under your band name somewhere in the world). If available you can acquire the domain name, and if not you can ascertain the current owner.

Registering a limited company in your band name would prevent anyone else using the same company name. You can make a company search to see if your band name is available at www.companies-house.gov.uk/info

In addition to the above, there are online band name registries where you can search to see if any other acts are going by the name you wish to use, and if not, you can register the name there. Whilst there is no legal recognition of these registering systems, if everybody in the music industry employed them, the problems of two or more acts laying claim to the same name could be greatly reduced. For more information, visit www.bandreg.com or www.bandname.com .

The internet is also a useful tool for making general searches using as many search engines as possible to ascertain whether anyone else is using your intended band name for their own business (whether or not their business is music). If there is a band of the same name signed to a record label, your search may lead you to that record label's site and information about the existing band.

Unfortunately there is no single, simple way of protecting your band name other than registration as a trade mark, but which as mentioned above is territorial and rather expensive. However carrying out the above searches before using your intended band name may help you avoid some of the problems you could otherwise encounter.

www.musiciansunion.org.uk

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Re: HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR BAND NAME?

Post  carryonanon on Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:42 am

i know that some local bands when they record, just put a dated copy of the cd in a sealed envelope. it's not watertight, but it protects against a couple of different copyright infringements. i couldn't see a sticky about protecting your songs from copyright, maybe i'm being blind.
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