20 Questions for New Artists: Social Networking and Domain Names/Trademark the Band Name

For the next few weeks, we’re going to post sections from the article “20 Questions for New Artists” by Chris Castle and Amy Mitchell some of which has been posted various places. If you are interested in getting a free copy of the basic article, write to semaphoreindustryquestions@gmail.com before February 1. This doesn’t constitute legal advice, or any intent to form the attorney-client relationship. Chris, Amy and others will also be publishing the “Artist Glossary of Industry Terms” as a companion guide.

Social Networking and Domain Names

Many bands think that if you have a Myspace and Facebook page you don’t need to get a domain name, too. It is better to secure rights in the band’s domain name for at least one top-level domain such as .com, even if you just have the band’s domain point to a Myspace page for the moment. After all, no social network provider promises to stay in business forever nor do they offer the plentiful e-commerce possibilities available through an independent website.

Trademark the Band Name/Logo

While there’s nothing new under the sun, the band should do its best to come up with an original name for the band. There may be other bands using the exact same name or a different name but the same logo. Don’t assume that the other band using the same name is not important—we have heard excuses from “we’ve heard the other band will break up” or “the other band hasn’t logged into their myspace account in three months.” (Especially true if the apparently abandoned Myspace account is, for example, myspace.com/mariahcarey.) Logos are equally important in this age of merchandising and branding, so it is essential to have a discussion about the origin or inspiration for a logo, if any. The band should seek the advice of an experienced trademark attorney to register your band’s name and logo for trademark protection.

See Also: Performing Rights Society Affiliations
See Also: Bank Accounts/Tax Returns/Accountants
See Also: Have you Registered with SoundExchange?

Copyright 2009 Chris Castle and Amy Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.