So I have been recording music and plan on releasing an album in 2016. However, the name I want, let's say for example "Black Pyramid" or whatever was a rock trio from Australia in the 90s , and a totally different set of musicians from the U.S. is releasing their own music under the same name, on soundcloud/bandcamp.

Now if I wanted to release MY own music under the name "Black Pyramid", can I be sued or have limited distribution because of it? What I'm saying is I want to use a name that other unknown amateurs or inactive, small-time musicians from random parts of the world also publish music online as (or did in the past anyways)

Can I do this? And at what point can I contact the sites and ask them to give me the inactive accounts for my own use i.e 5 yr old twitter/soundcloud account
Last edited by jdenmo at Mar 19, 2015,
NOTE: I don't have a degree in law, so what i say might not be entirely accurate.

It depends. I think they would have to file for some sort of copyright in order to sue you over a name, just like businesses trademark certain products/product names. It also depends on the people in the other bands, have one look on spotify and you can find tons of bands with the same name that are all active that haven't sued eachother, so it depends on how much of a prick they want to be.

I'm not sure about the social media thing tho (Twitter, facebook, soundcloud), only cases i know where they have helped someone get an unactive twitter handle is when they are asked by a person with quite a following. (Like a Youtuber trying to get his name as a twitter handle, but some fan had already taken it)
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

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It depends on whether or not your country is a first to use, or a first to file area.

If it's first to use, nothing you can do.

First to file, you may have a chance as they may not have trademarked the name yet.

Either way, err on the side of caution on this one so no one has to lawyer up.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp