University of Colorado Denver
From The Slants to The Doors and numerous other music groups, litigation over rights in band names is a common recurring music industry issue. The Slants’ case resulted in a groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court decision on trademark rights in controversial band names. A pending dispute involving “Jefferson Starship” offers a cautionary tale that dates back to the music group’s predecessor “Jefferson Airplane." This SXSW CLE presentation discusses the legal framework for securing band-name rights among group members and as to management companies, record labels and other third parties; the impact of state and federal laws; and how hot-button issues in famous band-name lawsuits have been resolved.