Is it wrong to use the same name as another band?


PDA

View Full Version : Is it wrong to use the same name as another band?


Scowmoo
02-15-2011, 06:07 PM
Right then, reacently after some google searching to make sure it wasn't taken, our band changed it's name from "Underworld Riot" to "Havoc". The logo for havoc is already on our bass drum and everything.

HOwever, it was brought to our attention that there is a thrash metal band out of mexico by the name of havoc, and that they have cd's and shit out.

So my question is, is it wrong to use the same name as another band if it's already taken, even if theyre unknown? Is there any legal ramifications to doing this?

Just curious.

thrash17
02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
yes

the_wassel
02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
Change your name to "avoc" so you don't have to completely destroy the bass drum.

SomebodySomeone
02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
if they are from mexico and you are from the US. i think that doesn't count unless they get a label to copyright the band name here. i think

but dont quote me on that because i may be pulling that out of my ass.....

Thereisnotry
02-15-2011, 06:14 PM
If the other Havoc has a copyright, then yes there are legal ramifications. Nirvana got sued by a band that had the name first and they had to pay something like $100,000 to settle it.

piszczel
02-15-2011, 06:15 PM
It's gonna happen, there's loads of bands that have identical names. There's only so many cool band names that you can think of.

Silent Murder
02-15-2011, 06:18 PM
Just stick a word infront of it.. that way you don't have to remove names off things.
Ofcourse.. it only really matters if you get a label and make it big.. and that's unlikely these days.

Marrowoflife
02-15-2011, 06:26 PM
Ask Skid Row. This article was confusing for a minute.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/gary_moore_dies.html

RetroGunslinger
02-15-2011, 06:29 PM
call yourself lost cause, i was gonna call mine that but none of the rest of the band liked it, now were going with flaccid strangers :(

Eskil Rask
02-15-2011, 06:29 PM
Flesh Havoc actually sounds pretty ****ing neat.

Oh, and it's also an Exmortem song. <3

EDIT:

It kind of depends on how big you are going. If you start doing big gigs and releasing CD's it might get you into some trouble, but until then it doesn't really matter.

My band is called Dionysus .. we only just learned that Dionysus is also a swedish power metal band. :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

grimms
02-15-2011, 06:36 PM
If ever you are naming a metal band the archives are the best places to check for taken names.

www.metal-archives.co.uk

californiacane
02-15-2011, 06:39 PM
just put "the" in front of it

randomhero93
02-15-2011, 06:40 PM
what about... Underworld Havoc...?

AlanHB
02-15-2011, 08:26 PM
Check the copyright sticky above. It's a question of whether you guys are doing business in the same physical area or not.

From what you've said it doesn't seem like it will really be an issue.

'93
02-16-2011, 10:13 AM
i think if you dont play in the same area its ok...

LazarusOnGrave
02-16-2011, 01:16 PM
Check the copyright sticky above. It's a question of whether you guys are doing business in the same physical area or not.

From what you've said it doesn't seem like it will really be an issue.

I think it's more along the lines of if they are considered to be in the same "market." Geography does play a factor, but even though they aren't from the same country, a band from Mexico couldn't just call themselves Metallica and just expect to get away with it.

So unless Havoc happens to be somewhat famous, there should be no issue.

I for one have seen at least a couple of bar bands named Free Beer and Chicken.

AlanHB
02-16-2011, 05:44 PM
I think it's more along the lines of if they are considered to be in the same "market." Geography does play a factor, but even though they aren't from the same country, a band from Mexico couldn't just call themselves Metallica and just expect to get away with it.

So unless Havoc happens to be somewhat famous, there should be no issue.

I for one have seen at least a couple of bar bands named Free Beer and Chicken.

Check out this thread for all the info http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=18363589&postcount=30

There are different features of what defines a market. If there was a shampoo called Metallica, it wouldn't be in competition with the band even if it were sold in the same area. Metallica is a such a huge band too that the physical area market that they occupy would be the entire world.

But it seems we agree that there's no real issue anyway.

Scowmoo
02-16-2011, 06:07 PM
Alright, thanks guys. AFAIK, they aren't big, i mean they have a few underground records but thats about it.

And I'm pretty sure they're disbanded, can't find anything on them. But yeah, we're planning on doing cd's, my multimedia is a talent scout for Roadrunner Records and he's gonna record our demo for us and shoot it over to them.

frigginjerk
02-16-2011, 06:13 PM
my understanding is that if neither band's tour schedule comes too close to the other, then it should be cool. for every band you HAVE heard of, there are 1000 you haven't, and duplicate names are all but an inevitability.

think of it this way: if EITHER band gets big enough that it's an issue, then one will buy the other out... the unknown bands gets some $$$ and a fresh start and the touring band can keep going... or, if the other band gets REALLY big, like MTV big, you might as well change yours anyways.

axemanchris
02-17-2011, 07:28 PM
If there was a shampoo called Metallica, it wouldn't be in competition with the band even if it were sold in the same area.

This raises an interesting question. If I started up a band and called it Tommy Hilfigger, wouldn't you think that would be a problem? Sure, one name is offering clothing (or arguably, a lifestyle.... ugh....) and the other name is offering musical entertainment, but I wouldn't be surprised if the band could experience problems.

The Tommy Hillfigger corp might have concerns over their brand being identified with the band... or the band being identified with the brand.... If this is an identification they don't want, then they might cause problems, though I'm not entirely sure where it would go.

I would expect it would have something to do with uniquely identifiable branding. As brand 'names' go, Tommy Hilfigger, Metallica, and Walt Disney are very uniquely identifiable. Whereas, it could probably be argued that "McDonald's", though internationally recognizable, is as a name in itself pretty generic. So, maybe "McDonald's Bowling Lanes" might be okay, as might Apple's Donuts, but Metallica shampoo could present problems.

CT

Cowless
02-17-2011, 07:43 PM
This raises an interesting question. If I started up a band and called it Tommy Hilfigger, wouldn't you think that would be a problem? Sure, one name is offering clothing (or arguably, a lifestyle.... ugh....) and the other name is offering musical entertainment, but I wouldn't be surprised if the band could experience problems.

The Tommy Hillfigger corp might have concerns over their brand being identified with the band... or the band being identified with the brand.... If this is an identification they don't want, then they might cause problems, though I'm not entirely sure where it would go.

I would expect it would have something to do with uniquely identifiable branding. As brand 'names' go, Tommy Hilfigger, Metallica, and Walt Disney are very uniquely identifiable. Whereas, it could probably be argued that "McDonald's", though internationally recognizable, is as a name in itself pretty generic. So, maybe "McDonald's Bowling Lanes" might be okay, as might Apple's Donuts, but Metallica shampoo could present problems.

CT


If you spell Hilfiger like that, I don't think you'd have issues.

AlanHB
02-17-2011, 07:50 PM
This raises an interesting question. If I started up a band and called it Tommy Hilfigger, wouldn't you think that would be a problem? Sure, one name is offering clothing (or arguably, a lifestyle.... ugh....) and the other name is offering musical entertainment, but I wouldn't be surprised if the band could experience problems.

There was actually a case about this in Australia, can't find the link right now. I'm pretty sure it involved Adidas and a company making a cologne called Adidas. At the time Adidas was not making cologne. The question was whether a consumer would assume that the Adidas cologne was linked to the Adidas company.

And I don't remember how it turned out...

It probably went something like Adidas has a lot more money to get good lawyers and the Adidas cologne lost. :D

axemanchris
02-17-2011, 08:58 PM
If you spell Hilfiger like that, I don't think you'd have issues.

:haha: Personal corporate fail.

Just goes to show ya how much I follow the whole name brand schtick.

CT

axemanchris
02-17-2011, 08:59 PM
It probably went something like Adidas has a lot more money to get good lawyers and the Adidas cologne lost. :D

I'd be willing to lay my money down right with you.

CT

SlackerBabbath
02-18-2011, 05:37 AM
This raises an interesting question. If I started up a band and called it Tommy Hilfigger, wouldn't you think that would be a problem? Sure, one name is offering clothing (or arguably, a lifestyle.... ugh....) and the other name is offering musical entertainment, but I wouldn't be surprised if the band could experience problems.

The Tommy Hillfigger corp might have concerns over their brand being identified with the band... or the band being identified with the brand.... If this is an identification they don't want, then they might cause problems, though I'm not entirely sure where it would go.

I would expect it would have something to do with uniquely identifiable branding. As brand 'names' go, Tommy Hilfigger, Metallica, and Walt Disney are very uniquely identifiable. Whereas, it could probably be argued that "McDonald's", though internationally recognizable, is as a name in itself pretty generic. So, maybe "McDonald's Bowling Lanes" might be okay, as might Apple's Donuts, but Metallica shampoo could present problems.

CT

Yeah, the interesting thing about the name 'Tommy Hillfigger' is that it's the name of a person. Call a band Tommy Hillfigger and everyone will simply assume that the band leader was coincedentaly called Tommy Hillfigger rather than the band actualy being named after the product.

Personaly, I have experience with the TS's problem. My own band Slack Babbath, which is/was a Black Sabbath tribute, is just one of several 'Slack Babbaths' in the world, but because we all play in different countries it simply isn't a problem. Although we did have a little trouble uite a few years ago with another Slack Babbath in the UK from the Newcastle area.

They had apparently started around the same time as us, but while we were becoming a well known nationally touring band with a website and links to various organisations, they remained as a purely locally gigging band.
The problem started when someone from a venue in Newcastle contacted us to confirm a booking that we had no knowledge of, and because we'd never heard of this other Slack Babbath, we simply said "Sorry mate, must be some mistake because we have no knowledge of a booking to play there" so he cancelled the gig.

Turned out it was the other band's gig and they angrily contacted us accusing us of sabotaging them. (this all happened online on our own website, don't bother looking for it, it doesn't exist anymore since we are now pretty much a defunct band that still gets together occasionaly to play about once a year)
So we did a little research on them and found out they advertised on one of the same entertainment listings sites that we used, called 'Ents 24' and whenever they placed a gig on that site, a photo of us was automaticaly used to promote them. That gave us legal grounds to prosecute. Effectively, they were being mistaken for us and were earning off the back of our nationaly good reputation, while we were never mistaken for them, hence the phone call off the Newcastle venue owner who thought he was hiring us that started the whole argument in the first place.

As it happened, we didn't prosecute them, we didn't even tell them to change their name, we simply informed them that we had grounds to prosecute and that they wouldn't have a leg to stand on in court and made them promise that they would do everything within their power to make sure they were no longer confused with us in the future and we haven't had a problem with them since.

I think what actualy convinced them was all the other UK Sabbath tributes like 'The Sabbath' from London (who we were on good terms with and even swapped occasional gigs with them) and 'MacSabbath' from Scotland (who I had actually helped out by singing for them for a few gigs when their vocalist had left them) waded into the debate with comments like "As far as we are concerned, there is only one Slack Babbath in the UK and that's the Slack Babbath from Burnley".

Of course, this was quite a while ago now and with our current status as an 'occasional' band, it's a pretty much moot point now, but the fact is, we had earned the right to trade under that name in the UK and had the legal means to fight off anyone who, intentionally or otherwise, were obviously earning from our reputation.

AlanHB
02-18-2011, 05:47 AM
the fact is, we had earned the right to trade under that name in the UK and had the legal means to fight off anyone who, intentionally or otherwise, were obviously earning from our reputation.

And you could afford the good lawyers :D

SlackerBabbath
02-18-2011, 06:02 AM
And you could afford the good lawyers :D
Actualy, we have a friend who's a solicitor (as we call them in the UK) who'll write any legal looking letter that simply threatened legal action for us in exchange for a T-shirt and free tickets.
She already has every different design of shirt we ever sold and is automaticaly put on any guest lists for our gigs.

:D

AlanHB
02-18-2011, 06:06 AM
Actualy, we have a friend who was a solicitor (as we call them in the UK) who'll write any legal looking letter that simply threatened legal action for us in exchange for a T-shirt and free tickets.

:D

Done! :haha:

Yeah we call them that here too. Solicitor/barrister = different aspects of lawyer's work.

SlackerBabbath
02-18-2011, 06:23 AM
Done! :haha:


There's a lot to said for the 'you scratch our back and we'll scratch yours' arrangement.

We've used her on a few occasions, such as when someone has stiffed our wages and even on one occasion when were were booked to do a gig about 8 months in advance only to turn up to the booking 8 months later to find that the venue no longer existed (it literaly wasn't standing as a building anymore) and that the person who booked us had simply neglected to cancel the booking.

Our friendly legal lady sends them the standard legal threatening letter on official looking headed paper, reminding them that failour to immediatly recompense us will result in additional legal costs, payable by them, and so far they've always simply payed up what they owe us rather than go through all the hassle.


Let that be a lesson to you kids, if you are a regularly working band, try to find yourselves a friendly legal person and make some sort of deal with them. They occasionaly come in very handy. ;)