#1
I know I've posted more than enough on here about this, but I promise this will be the last one. This week we signed on to do a show without the managers knowing, and they flipped out, threatened to file a lawsuit, told us we would all be fired if we went through with it, called the venue and threatened them with a lawsuit, and as a result the show got canceled and a band that was supposed to come from another city to play here got screwed, because of them.

We told them we were done with them, that's it, and they told us that we could no longer use that band name. The name consists of three words and they have a copy write to it. Our singer was in a band with the main manager (this haggard old man who apparently has a lot of connections in hollywood) and he's using her voice on some recordings she did with him. She's asked him to take her voice off since she doesn't want to associate with him, and he's refused.

Here are my questions:
1. Does their copy write still still stand if we change one word of that name? Say we change one word to the antonym of that word, could we still use it?

2. Does he have the right to continue to use our singers voice/image to promote him and his group after she's asked him not to? Keeping in mind she never signed anything with him so there is no legally binding contract there.

Any and all help is appreciated.
#2
1. perfectly fine to do so, as is changing the spelling.

2. no, not at all. she could file a lawsuit if she can prove that's her voice.
Belief is a beautiful armour but makes for the heaviest sword.
#3
Here's my take:

1) Can I copyright the name of my band?
No. Names are not protected by copyright law. Some names may be protected under trademark law. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html)

2) As I see it, since there is no formal contract between your singer and this guy, he can pretty much do whatever he wants with any voice recordings she did with/for him. Now, she could possibly sue, but unless your Axl Rose or somebody, it's hard to say if it's even worth it. I mean, is he getting rich off her voice/image? Probably not. I'd speak to an entertainment lawyer if I were you.
#4
Quote by timlikeHim

1) Can I copyright the name of my band?
No. Names are not protected by copyright law. Some names may be protected under trademark law. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 800-786-9199, for further information. (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html)


Indeed. We also have a sticky up the top of the forum addressing copyright issues. You should be able to use the original name, unless there's some contract you've signed that stops you from doing so.

As for the singer, they shouldn't be able to do that.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
Holy f**k. What a mess.

Quote by JasperPryce
This week we signed on to do a show without the managers knowing, and they flipped out, threatened to file a lawsuit, told us we would all be fired if we went through with it, called the venue and threatened them with a lawsuit


What kind of agreement do you have with this manager? If you have an exclusive agreement, then you screwed up. If you do not have an exclusive agreement, then you can do whatever the f**k you please and he can't say screw all. What form is your agreement in? If it isn't in writing, then the details and specifics will be hard to determine with any clarity, and it boils down to an argument of your word vs his. He can't reasonably expect to win.

A lawsuit? For what? Worst-case scenario, you violated the terms of your exclusive agreement for him to represent you. That means that he can automatically lay claim to any income that the band generated that would otherwise have been his (in other words, he keeps his 15% or whatever of the gig... regardless of the fact that he had no part in booking it). It also means that, because you violated the agreement, he can choose to terminate your agreement. In other words, he can fire your asses leaving you without representation. But a lawsuit? He's talking out of his hat. And a lawsuit against the club? This has nothing to do with the club. He's talking out of his hat.

As I said, though.... that's your worst-case scenario with you having an exclusive agreement in writing with him.

Quote by JasperPryce


We told them we were done with them, that's it,


Again, what kind of agreement do you have? If you have an agreement in writing with him, you'll have to check the terms of the agreement. You may not - either of you - have the luxury of just walking away from it like that. You may be bound to that agreement for a certain duration, until certain conditions are met, and may be discretionary for one party and not the other. If you have no real agreement, then you're fine.

Quote by JasperPryce

and they told us that we could no longer use that band name.


Well... who owns it? Careful now. Ownership in this case is not a "I think I should own it because" scenario. Ownership is a legal term. Has somebody registered the name as a business? I've heard of it happening in one case I know of where, the manager of the band, in a moment of being well-meaning and taking care of business for the band, registered the name on behalf of the band. He registered it in his name. When the manager and band parted ways, it came to pass that the manager owned the band name. Fortunately, there wasn't so much animosity between them that the manager insisted the band not use the name. He could have, though.

If the band has been using the name, but nobody has formally filed paperwork on it, as far as I can see, then nobody owns it. At that point, ownership is 9 tenths of the law, and if the band has been using the name, a judge would probably rule in favour of the band.

Quote by JasperPryce

The name consists of three words and they have a copy write to it.


No they don't. Nobody can copyright the name of a business. As was posted above it can be trademarked, or the name can be registered as a business name, but it is not copyrighted.

Consider this... if a restaurant opens under the name (and registers it) "Davey's Donairs", and someone else comes along and wants to call their restaurant "Davey's Donairs" there would be an obvious problem. Well, if your manager has registered a business that provides musical services called "Ricky's Rockers", and then you came along and wanted to open another business, also providing musical entertainment services called "Ricky's Rockers", it would be the same problem.

However, if nobody has registered a business name, then technically, someone could just come along and register it and it would be fine.

Quote by JasperPryce

Our singer was in a band with the main manager (this haggard old man who apparently has a lot of connections in hollywood) and he's using her voice on some recordings she did with him. She's asked him to take her voice off since she doesn't want to associate with him, and he's refused.


There are three levels of ownership here - the recording, the content of the recording, and the performances.

The owner of the recording is the person/group who paid for the recording. That might work for you or against you. Who paid for it? If you paid for it, then you can forbid him from copying or sharing or distributing the recording.

Who owns the material? If you (or your singer) own the material, then the manager can still use it, but will have to pay you for each and every copy he makes, and there is a minimum mechanical royalty rate.

But the performance... your singer has the right to disallow the use of her performance, unless those rights have been waived at some point. For instance, if Ozzy gets into a fight with his label, he can't just say, "fine, then you have to take my voice off all the recordings." The label will respond, "but first, we paid for the recordings themselves, so we own them, and secondly, under the terms of our agreement, you agreed to allow us to use and distribute these performances, which is a necessary part of our being able to promote you." But, if your singer doesn't want her voice used anymore on those recordings, she can say so, so far as I know. She can't ask that her voice be removed from any existing recordings, or from any existing uses of those recordings, but can refuse to allow her voice to be used on any future uses of those recordings.

You might be best to consult an entertainment lawyer on that one, though, or look up your national laws yourself just to make sure.

I did look them up in Canada a while back as I was counselling someone whose recorded drum parts wound up in the hands of someone else who wanted to use them to re-mix his own project. The two didn't really like each other, and the drummer wanted to know if he had a right to say no to that.

My research for that told me that the drummer had every right. Effectively, in this case, his performance was being re-purposed for an entirely new recording. Your situation is a little different though.

Quote by JasperPryce

Here are my questions:
1. Does their copy write still still stand if we change one word of that name? Say we change one word to the antonym of that word, could we still use it?


Well.... if you wanted to open up a burger restaurant and call it Burger QUEEN, I wouldn't expect that to be a problem, unless you were also copping their visual theme (ie. logo, etc.) However, if you wanted to open up a burger restaurant and call it THE Burger King, then I would see an obvious problem.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
From Canada Copyright Act - C-42

Sec 26-7

(7) Notwithstanding an assignment of a performer's right conferred by this section, the performer, as well as the assignee, may prevent the reproduction of any fixation of the performer's performance, or

any substantial part of such a fixation,

where the fixation was made without the performer's consent or the assignee's consent; and

prevent the importation of any fixation of the performer's performance, or any reproduction of such a fixation, that the importer knows or ought to have known was made without the performer's consent or the assignee's consent.
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Sorry for the triple post...

So, assuming that Canadian law is similar to wherever you are, (assuming....), then your singer already gave consent for the recording. Usage of that particular recording is already guaranteed.

However, if he wanted to re-use it in a new recording, he would need permission. Or, perhaps, he would be entitled to use the existing copies he has made, but would need permission to make more copies.

The language "to reproduce any fixation" - a fixation is basically a recording. So, he can use the recordings he has, but if he wants to reproduce the recording further, the performer could withdraw permission at that point (barring any other agreements that might otherwise be in place.... see the Ozzy example above, for instance). At least, that's how it reads to me.

Of course, your singer probably has no agreement with the manager that she would allow x-number of recordings to be made, so the manager could conceivably argue that he already made 10 000 copies - enough for him to use for a good long time. At that point, it becomes a question of "how much time and money do you want to spend fighting that one?"

By comparison, with my band, we collectively paid for 500 copies of our CD to be made. There is an inherent agreement that, as members of the band who paid for 500 discs to be pressed, that we authorized 500 copies to be made. We did not authorize more than 500. So, if one of us wanted to send the album in for further reproduction, we would require the permission of:
-the writers
-the performers
-the owner of the master recordings

CT


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#8
To answer your main question, we have no written agreement with him whatsoever, or any other form of one. None of us ever signed anything, we made damn sure not to. I'll definitely respond to the rest of it later on, but that's the main thing.