Big Legal Battles Over Rights in Bands' Names


Stan Soocher

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.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Primary Entry: Music Badge, Platinum Badge, Film Badge, Interactive Badge
Format: Panel
Event Type: Session
Track: CLE
Level: Advanced