Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
A basic guide to using and protecting band names
Imagine the scenario. Band A has been playing regular pub gigs in Sydney. Band B
is just starting to get noticed in Perth. Both, concidentally, share the same name.
Neither is aware of the other until Band A gets picked up by JJJ and people start
getting confused. Whose song is on the radio? Is this a local gig by Band A or is
it Band B on tour? To avoid stealing each other's business, one of the bands is
probably going to have to change its name. This is unlikely to be convenient for
either of them. Ditto for DJ's, solo artists and promotion companies. If a name
is similar or identical to another, there can be a problem.
What if the other band's name is a registered trade mark?
If Band B has registered the name as a trade mark Band A is in a tight spot.
See Arts Law's Trade Marks Information Sheet, available on our website or by
What if neither band has registered the name?
If neither band has registered the name as a trade mark it is a matter of evidence
as to who has the oldest and strongest claim to it. Each band will need to establish
their reputation in the name via old gig posters, magazine reviews etc. Negotiation
is always preferable to court action, which can be very expensive. However, while
negotiating keep an eye on the Trade Marks Office (tel 1300 651 010 or online at
www.ipaustralia.gov.au). If one band applies for a trade mark the other band may
need to lodge an opposition to preserve their interim position.
What if the names are similar but not identical?
The law applies various objective tests to work out whether names are too close
for comfort. Although actual public confusion over the names is not strictly necessary,
it helps. Keep a record of any instances of confusion you know of.
Limitations on ownership of names
Sometimes nobody has an exclusive right to a band name. For example the name
might simply describe the style of music. In other cases bands may be forced
to share a name, as where they have developed separate geographical reputations.
An international act might not own its name in countries where it has not toured
or sold records. However, reputations are increasingly mobile via global communications.
There are a few simple steps which can be taken to minimise name disputes.
Before choosing a name, check industry publications and phone books. Search
business names registers (band names must generally be registered as business names
- see Arts Law's Business Names Protection Information Sheet here, available on our
website or by contacting us) and the trade marks register. If you are hoping to go
international, search the internet and any other means of looking up acts in target
Protecting your own name
Keep a file on the history of your use of the name and register it as a trade mark.
Establish your reputation as widely as possible (for example via a website and tours,
and even international trade mark registrations). And if you notice a new band using
your name, seek legal advice on a letter of demand.
Art + Law
: The articles and information on this website are provided only for the
purposes of discussing legal issues. They are not to be relied on as a substitute
for legal advice. The Arts Law Centre of Australia accepts no liability for losses
caused by reliance on any of the materials it publishes. Before acting on any matter,
take advice from a qualified legal practitioner.
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