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  • Using Already Taken Band Names

    Firstly I've read Copyright 101.

    There it's written you can't copyright a band name. Does that mean I can use already taken band name?

  • #2
    ...but it could be trademarked.
    If the name of the band is The Beatles or The Band...probably not a good idea...

    Also, think about where this other band was located and where you are. If they were not a major regionally recognized band, and are on the other side of the country, go ahead.

    There have been no less than 6 bands here in SoCal called variations of Foreplay, 4Play, FourPlay, etc...since they are all homophonic [note the 'n' is not a typo, please] it can lead to confusion, but hey...so what, right?
    Last edited by daddymack; 06-06-2016, 11:58 AM.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by zanshin777 View Post
      Firstly I've read Copyright 101.

      There it's written you can't copyright a band name. Does that mean I can use already taken band name?
      It's not copyright you need to worry about when it comes to band names, it's trademarks. If they have the name trademarked, or can establish prior use, you could run into serious issues.

      IMHO it's best to come up with a name that is unique and original, and avoid confusing your fans (and the potential legal issues) that nearly invariably come with using someone else's name.
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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed, originality is best, always.
        Years ago, before 'teh interwebz', you could probably get away with a band name TM infringement if they were nowhere near your locality. Oh, if you actually got popular enough, you would maybe get a C&D letter, to which you would be wise to comply. Now, a simple search is so easy...better to use your own imagination than step on someone else's, IMHO...

    • #4
      Originally posted by daddymack View Post
      There have been no less than 6 bands here in SoCal called variations of Foreplay, 4Play, FourPlay, etc...since they are all homophonic [note the 'n' is not a typo, please] it can lead to confusion, but hey...so what, right?
      Except that there is a notable band with the name "Fourplay" featuring the likes of Bob James, Nathan East, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and others. I think I'd be more than a little pissed if I went to see those guys and instead got a dad band struggling through Sweet Home Alabama and Brown Eyed Girl.
      Last edited by trevcda; 06-06-2016, 07:25 PM.
      One more time kids; equalizers are not cross overs, vocal mics are not cymbal mics and pan knobs are not three position switches. As you were.

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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        Many of the versions of the name go back to the 1980s...and spelling notwithstanding, I think the type and location of venue is a dead giveaway....

      • trevcda
        trevcda commented
        Editing a comment
        I was thinking the same thing! I was also thinking it might be interesting to see their (Fourplay's) take on SHA and BEG.

    • #5
      Then I think Trademark is a Copyright for "Band Names"

      I want to make music in English (not my native language) and distribute internationally.

      There is a website "furia.com" which shows if the band name is taken however it doesn't show its origin.

      Probably it shows as taken when one took trademark.

      Then I'll use a band name if it's not popular.

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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think I would use something like Furia as the prime guideline, z777..
        Use your imagination, find something that means something to you and says something about your music.
        The Beatles went through several names before they hit...and as the bard said 'what is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...
        In other words, don't worry about the name, worry about the product: the music. You can call the band 'dustbin'* if the music rocks, no one will care [think about the band Garbage...]

        *however, if you do use 'dustbin', and you become popular, I expect a major percentage....
        Last edited by daddymack; 06-07-2016, 07:24 PM.

    • #6
      And .... If that band is in your area - its the band and its fans you have to watch out for. They may view you using their name in an attempt to cut in on their established business. You may just wind up in some dark alley with a set of broken fingers if you "knowingly" used the same name.

      Of course, many times you may wind up using the same name purely by accident. Back in the days before computers and internet you had a good excuse for not knowing if another band had that name. Today you'll likely find them using a simple Google search because so many have websites now.

      Personally I wouldn't want to be caught dead using someone else's band name. Too many chances of being mistaken for the other band and I don't want to spend time between sets explaining to people I'm not from that "other" band and don't want to make excuses for having the same name or appearing to be a copycat.

      There are too many good words in the English language that can be used for a great band name. It may take time and effort brainstorming up a good one up, but be patient and grab a dictionary to read. You'll eventually have something hit you like a bolt of lightening no one has ever thought to use and it will wind up being all yours.
      Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-08-2016, 10:31 AM.

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      • #7
        A cool and witty band name isn't a necessity for being noticed either.

        Phil's example of the Beatles is one. A word Beetle isn't exactly a sex magnet for women. Most young girls have a dreaded fear of insects. The band was called the Silver Beetles which wasn't very catchy and John wanted something that sounded more English. John suggested the Crickets which was of course an insect and an English Sport, but McCartney knew that one was already being used by Buddy Holly. Stuart shortened it to The Beetles and John changed the wording to The "Beat"les which wound up being pretty cool once you understood the misspelling had to do with "The Beat" of the music.


        Even the Rolling Stones is a pretty lame name when you visualize what the individual words are but the term stone drunk was already around for decades Getting rolled was a street term for being mugged. Rolling Stone(d) wound up being a good hook for them, especially given their street looks and heavy use of illegal drugs in the early days.

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        • daddymack
          daddymack commented
          Editing a comment
          The name Rolling Stones was an homage, if you will, to Muddy Water's song 'Rollin' Stone'
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5RwNit_HUw

          Interestingly, many 'tribute bands' borrow from a hit song title of their idol's to generate their Band Names...
          Last edited by daddymack; 06-08-2016, 11:45 AM.

      • #8
        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

        It's not copyright you need to worry about when it comes to band names, it's trademarks. If they have the name trademarked, or can establish prior use, you could run into serious issues.

        IMHO it's best to come up with a name that is unique and original, and avoid confusing your fans (and potential legal issues) that nearly invariably come with using someone else's name.

        This
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        • #9
          Thank you very much all.

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