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mark t
01-24-2007, 08:07 AM
Just got this message in myspace....


Please be informed that your use of the name "Tarantulas" in your band name is in violation of United States and International Trademark Law. I am the owner of the Trademark, "The Tarantulas" for all purposes related to music, including band name, performance and CD sales. You need to change your band name IMMEDIATELY to avoid cancellation of your myspace page. If your myspace page continues to refer to your band with the word "Tarantulas" in the name, my Trademark information will be forwarded to myspace.com IMMEDIATELY and they may choose to totally cancel your myspace page as they did with "The Tarantulas" band located in the U.K. as of last week. Here is the correct link to the Trademark information for my Trademark "THE TARANTULAS":
http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=75733379
Please regard this issue seriously so that further legal action can be avoided.



I checked the link, and it does appear that he's got the name "The Tarantulas" copyrighted for entertainment purposes....is he right on this? I know that with some of the bigger bands, they managed to mess with the name a bit if they had the same name....Bush became Bush X in Canada, Suede was The London Suede...he mentions that another band called The Tarantulas had their page shut down, but that's an exact match.

Dammit, where's Damin when you need him?

Michael Greenwood
01-24-2007, 08:20 AM
I remember having a disc by a band named Tarantula (sold it) and then I read about their next releases and I think they were called Tarantula A.D. or something on it.

Bill Pissott
01-24-2007, 09:29 AM
I don't know Tolch. Sounds like you need to have someone with some experience in trademark law look into it. Yeah, that's obvious I know but in your own best interest because you don't wanna go changing names if you don't have to. Hey, the one good thing is that you can get your Myspace page cancelled and get away from that cesspool :)

Travis Sheldon
01-24-2007, 09:33 AM
Change the name to Atomic Tarantula(s).

Christoffer S
01-24-2007, 10:03 AM
I think he might be right. I believe copyrighted names are only valuable in the same line of business such as in this case music. Though Im not sure if the "THE" in The Tarantulas is important or not. It could be, cause he might just own "The Tarantulas" and not "Tarantula" or "Tarantulas".

But to be on the safe side I suggest you change the name of the band to "the Swedish Joe worshipers"

Mike Brown
01-24-2007, 10:09 AM
Yep, that sucks. There's a band with the same name as my band in San Diego. We both started out around the same time. They're a damn cover band and it sucks when people find them instead of us on the net. Good luck with whatever happens.

Scott Ruhl
01-24-2007, 12:53 PM
Fuck a copywrite. There's more than enough room in the world for bands/movies/books with the same name. Don't let that facist tell you what to do, tell him to change HIS damn name if he's so worried about it.

mark t
01-24-2007, 01:19 PM
Fuck a copywrite. There's more than enough room in the world for bands/movies/books with the same name. Don't let that facist tell you what to do, tell him to change HIS damn name if he's so worried about it.


I agree, but the issue is clearly gonna be with myspace taking our page down if we've violated it. That's pretty much our only online promotion....

Fred Adelman
01-24-2007, 02:57 PM
Contact MySpace and forward them the email you received. MySpace may decide that they are unfairly targeting you. Whoever sent you that email sounds like a real dickhole and MySpace may think so too.

Mike Brown
01-24-2007, 03:08 PM
Again, Mark, I hope it works out for you. You inadverdently inspired me to get off my ass and make a myspace page for my band today. Thanks.

John G.
01-24-2007, 03:25 PM
I agree, don't take any crap from this asshole Mark.

Tom K
01-24-2007, 03:52 PM
Do you have a copyright to the name?

If so, when did you get it?

If not, and you can prove you did something under that name before him (official release with date), it can revert back to you...

Douglas B
01-24-2007, 04:03 PM
What's your status? It's not clear from your post. Do you have a band called Tarantulas?

www.myspace.com/thetarantulas is pretty weak whoever owns it. Less than 200 views and two friends?!

mark t
01-24-2007, 04:22 PM
This band has been around way longer than we have.....if it came down to it, they would win...if i felt that our names were anywhere near similar. Which they're not, other than having the word "Tarantulas" in them.

Douglas, here's our myspace page...


www.myspace.com/lastarantulas

Clint C
01-24-2007, 04:32 PM
That sucks Mark.
I've wondered if BTILC will ever encounter any problems due to our name.

Y. Dudelle
01-24-2007, 05:09 PM
I think they only own the specific name 'The Tarantulas'. I don't think they can own the word tarantulas so that it can't be used in any other band name, otherwise there couldn't be a White Zombie, White Stripes, Whitesnake, White Lion, Great White, Barry White, etc. I guess they might be able to make a case since Las Tarantulas would translate to The Tarantulas, but I believe they would have to be able to successfully argue that the consumer would be confused between the two. I'm not an expert on it though. Wasn't there a group called Prodigy and another one called The Prodigy a while ago?

Y. Dudelle
01-24-2007, 05:13 PM
I think it comes down to whether you think he would actually take you to court or if he's just trying to bully you into changing your name.

Tom K
01-24-2007, 05:17 PM
I think it comes down to whether you think he would actually take you to court or if he's just trying to bully you into changing your name.

I think that is what the bottom line is...

I would read the My Space fine prints as well...it would suck if they wipe out your page because of this...

William R.
01-24-2007, 06:58 PM
He sounds like a wanker.

Myspace will TotTalLY shut your page down, man. Who the fuck says totally in a letter like that. It just jumps out as immature.

mark t
01-24-2007, 09:28 PM
He sounds like a wanker.

Myspace will TotTalLY shut your page down, man. Who the fuck says totally in a letter like that. It just jumps out as immature.


Yeah, i know. I sent him a message asking what he would think is appropriate for a substitute, and he mentioned that leaving the word Tarantulas out of the name would be the best course. At that point, the "Fuck YOU, Buddy!" came out, and we're gonna fight it. Fuck him in the ear.

Chris G.
01-24-2007, 10:29 PM
what is your band name?

a trademark for "the tarantulas", as indicated by others, should not affect use of the word "Tarantulas" if your band name is "Billy Bob And His Fantastic Tarantula Fun Band". It's likely to be a question of degree which only a judge will be able to determine. It's really a question of similarity and the likely confusion caused for the reasonable consumer.

don't blab to MySpace unless you know your position, otherwise you may compromise yourself inadvertently. MySpace will go by the law, not the vibe of dickheadedness.

if you don't want to see a lawyer, at least try and inform yourself - grab a textbook on trademark law and inform yourself - are MySpace also located in the USA? Get the facts as together as possible, and then try and determine your legal position.

If you're committed to the name and it's valuable to you, seeing a lawyer for some advice is the best way to go. If you would rather forego your band name than pay for advice, well that's for you to determine.

This scenario is not uncommon - there are plenty of examples. One which springs to mind is Testament being "The Legacy" prior to their debut CD.

Kristian R
01-24-2007, 11:56 PM
Hope things work out for you with the name Tolch. But if a name change is in your future please consider: Mark Tolch's Swingin' Tarantula Balls.

William R.
01-25-2007, 02:54 AM
If this dick is in the right, just chance it to Las Tarantulas de Fuego (de fuego in the smallest font possible on the cd cover) and tell him to lick you from crack to sack.

Elske McCain
01-25-2007, 03:24 AM
If anything I would think the band Tito and Tarantula would own the title more than this other dude. Maybe you should change it to Mark and Tarantula. ;)

Nick McBride
01-25-2007, 03:46 AM
Dinosaur Jr is another band that had to change its name.

I'm sympathetic, but it does look like he has got a strong case because there may not be much in the distinction between THE and LAS. It makes sense to think of new names, because it may be easier in the long run than fighting him.

Ian Miller
01-25-2007, 06:36 AM
Yeah, having been down this same road (and we were in the right), sometimes it makes sense to cut your losses and move on, but you'll decide soon enough what your desired course will be. HOWEVER, the record isn't out yet, right? You might want to consider a new name just so you won't be confused with this mo-ron.

Chuck Renaud
01-25-2007, 11:15 AM
Just got this message in myspace....

Not to defend the guy, but if people are wondering why he's being so aggressive, it's because that's the nature of trademark law. If you don't defend your trademark against any and all encroachers, you risk losing the legal "weight" behind it.

That said, he certainly didn't have to be an asshole about it. This is what happens when people think they can be attorneys. A simple "please cease and desist" usually get better results than poorly-worded threats.

Where this really reeks foul is how this guy got a U.K. band's page shut down. Enforcing US trademark law overseas is an expensive proposition and this guy took the poor man's route by just attacking their MySpace profile. I doubt he had the means or resources to actually force that band to change their name.

Going after you on MySpace, and only on MySpace, >could< constitute harrassment. Personally, I would ask him to have his attorneys send you a formal "cease and desist" statement on their letterhead. If you have to change it anyway, you might as well make the guy work (and pay) for it.

-- C

Scott Ruhl
01-25-2007, 11:49 AM
Don't change shit. This reminds me of some dork I went to highschool with who had some "drawings" of comic book "characters" he "created." He wouldn't show them to anybody 'cuz he said he was in the process of getting them copywrited and that his family's lawyer (yuk yuk) was taking care of it. I had already copywrited characters for a book I was working on and told him that all he had to do was fill out the requested copywrite forms from the government but he insisted that it was a long arduous procees and that they'd have to research all of comic book history to make sure everything was legit. I caught a glimps once of one of his characters and it was some plain spandex looking dude with a radiation symbol on his chest. Pinnical of creativity I tell ya'.

Bottom line is some people are intrested in creating art, be it music, drawing, writing; and some people think everything's in a name. For the record the comic that I do is called DREAMSICLE which is also the name of an ice-cream confection and a line of of cermaic bears that are sold in Hallmark shops. I'm sure there's others too but I can't be arsed to sweat it.

Mike Brown
01-25-2007, 11:56 AM
I can live with another band having the same name, but it does suck if people who don't know better happen to get them confused with us. They're a damn cover band for Chrissakes! Not that there's anything wrong with that.;)

Chuck Renaud
01-25-2007, 12:17 PM
Don't change shit.

The problem is that this guy apparently has a legit trademark. It does appear that it's been challenged, but not successfully.

The thing is that a MySpace email does not constitute a valid "cease and desist" order, so the only real question is if MySpace is willing to cancel one account based on the accusations of another. History proves this to be the case.

So how much hassle does the OP want to avoid? This isn't a legal issue yet, just an idle threat. But if the loss of the MySpace page is going to be a problem, then you either sue MySpace after they take your page down or you change the name of the band.

In order for him to make you change the name of the band, he's going to have to get his attorneys involved. What's going on now is high school bullyism where the principal (MySpace) will believe the first (and loudest) person.

-- C

Damin J. Toell
01-25-2007, 12:23 PM
It's a trademark issue, not a copyright one.

The ultimate question in any trademark dispute is whether there is a likelihood of confusion between the two names - could anyone really look at something released by your band and think it was a product put out by the other band? You'll need to consider how similar the band logos, CD packaging, musical styles, etc. are. That the other band has "The Tarantulas" registered with the USPTO doesn't really change things in that regard.

Damin

mark t
01-25-2007, 12:44 PM
It's a trademark issue, not a copyright one.

The ultimate question in any trademark dispute is whether there is a likelihood of confusion between the two names - could anyone really look at something released by your band and think it was a product put out by the other band? You'll need to consider how similar the band logos, CD packaging, musical styles, etc. are. That the other band has "The Tarantulas" registered with the USPTO doesn't really change things in that regard.

Damin

Thanks, Damin! The bands are not similar at all, nor are the names, IMO.....

Damin J. Toell
01-25-2007, 09:28 PM
Mark,

This Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_trademark_law) has a decent little section ("Judging the likelihood of confusion") on the factors that are considered in the US to determine trademark infringement under US law (every Federal Court district, or "Circuit," uses some version of a test using factors like the ones quoted in the article). Just more to chew over for you.

My personal opinion as your friend (as opposed to my professional opinion as your attorney) is to just say, "fuck 'em."

:)

DJ

mark t
01-25-2007, 09:37 PM
Mark,

This Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_trademark_law) has a decent little section ("Judging the likelihood of confusion") on the factors that are considered in the US to determine trademark infringement under US law (every Federal Court district, or "Circuit," uses some version of a test using factors like the ones quoted in the article). Just more to chew over for you.

My personal opinion as your friend (as opposed to my professional opinion as your attorney) is to just say, "fuck 'em."

:)

DJ



Thanks for that link, Damin.

At this point, we've advised the gentleman in question that we have no interest in changing our name, and that we will change the name of our myspace page only under the direction of the myspace legal department.

Of course, we did also let him know that we were not interested in changing our name in promotional materials or CDs because we have been marketed strictly north of the border. I hope that this makes a difference.

Either way, if it's gonna cost him his retainer to have his lawyer send us a notice, I'll feel validated. :)

Interesting wording in his response though...."we will be in touch, once A trademark lawyer is contacted" (Damin, if they come to you, tell 'em to get fucked, will ya?),and that myspace authorities "MAY" be contacted later.

Apparently, these guys got a band called Tarantulas AD shut down, but they were signed to a label, toured the states, and sold CDs...basically, they were an american band. And by dude's own admission, it took over 2 years.

We're just idiotic enough to take up the fight. :)

Mike T
01-25-2007, 10:27 PM
To paraphrase some Kevin Smith: fuck him. Fuck him in his stupid arse!

Forward his whiny email to Tito Larriva (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito_Larriva) and see what someone with a recording contract, as well as several ancillary appearances in a variety of movies, has to say. :p

Stupid fucking dead-beat, no-name, no-friends, whining fucking motherfucker loser! :mad:

I think I'll go and watch some movies now... :)

mark t
02-07-2007, 09:44 PM
Myspace finally got back to us and said that since the band names were different, the music was different, and we were in different countries, that they wouldn't act on it unless they were served with a court order.

I talked to another band that had to change their name because of this asshole, and they said that he has lawyers in the family and is only interested in settling for licensing fees...ie, he'll let you use your name for a lump sum payment, even though he's not currently engaged in any activity with this band. They did tell me that the only reason that they caved was because they had a new CD coming out and their label was telling them to resolve the problem immediately.

In other news, the LAS TARANTULAS CD is in the top 5 on the indy charts in Toronto, which is kinda nifty. I'd like to thank my skills as an upright bass player for this honour...... :)

Chuck Renaud
02-08-2007, 12:32 AM
Wow...MySpace did something right. Wonders never cease...

Congrats on the success of the CD and for staying persistent. I see people like that all the time in the tech industry. They patent "common sense" concepts, wait for someone else to actually bring them to market successfully, then sue for licencing fees.

Jonathan Daniels
02-08-2007, 01:09 AM
Myspace finally got back to us and said that since the band names were different, the music was different, and we were in different countries, that they wouldn't act on it unless they were served with a court order.

I talked to another band that had to change their name because of this asshole, and they said that he has lawyers in the family and is only interested in settling for licensing fees...ie, he'll let you use your name for a lump sum payment, even though he's not currently engaged in any activity with this band. They did tell me that the only reason that they caved was because they had a new CD coming out and their label was telling them to resolve the problem immediately.

In other news, the LAS TARANTULAS CD is in the top 5 on the indy charts in Toronto, which is kinda nifty. I'd like to thank my skills as an upright bass player for this honour...... :)

Congratulations Mark! I'm glad this thread has a happy ending. In my opinion, LAS TARANTULAS is a better name anyway. I wish you guys the best. :)

Mike Brown
02-08-2007, 09:47 AM
That's good news Mark! Congrats.

Scott Ruhl
02-08-2007, 10:05 AM
Congratulations Mark that's awesome!

mark t
02-26-2007, 08:13 PM
Well, we got fucked. This dude who owns the trademark has taken it a step further, and gotten his uncle, one of the partners in some firm, to send us a cease and desist. Since we can't fucking fork out cash everytime this douche gets a family member to send out a form letter for him, we changed the name. Our new url is


www.myspace.com/lasavispaslocas

BTW, the guy who came after us is named Randy Shams, and his uncle's name is Maurice Shams. I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to be juvenile, but if you show up at our URL and want to post a comment, that would be just dandy.
:D

Ian Jane
02-26-2007, 08:16 PM
I think from now on he should be referred to only as Randy Shama-lama-ding-dong.

mark t
02-26-2007, 08:26 PM
I think from now on he should be referred to only as Randy Shama-lama-ding-dong.


ALMOST the new name of the band. :)

Josh S
02-26-2007, 08:28 PM
I like the new name better, especially given the reasoning behind it.

mark t
02-26-2007, 08:34 PM
I like the new name better, especially given the reasoning behind it.



You should be our friend, Josh Stuckey!

Nick McBride
02-27-2007, 02:53 AM
Well, we got fucked. This dude who owns the trademark has taken it a step further, and gotten his uncle, one of the partners in some firm, to send us a cease and desist. Since we can't fucking fork out cash everytime this douche gets a family member to send out a form letter for him, we changed the name. Our new url is


www.myspace.com/lasavispaslocas

BTW, the guy who came after us is named Randy Shams, and his uncle's name is Maurice Shams. I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to be juvenile, but if you show up at our URL and want to post a comment, that would be just dandy.
:D

Get that name trademarked dude!

mark t
02-27-2007, 09:08 AM
Get that name trademarked dude!

We're gonna. We're gonna trademark the fuck out of that shit.

paul h.
02-27-2007, 05:30 PM
Crazy. Some folks are really twerps about this stuff. I like your new name better too actually. I still think that if you were "Las Tarantulas" and dickweed was "The Tarantulas", that the names are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. And you could have spent way too much thought time and energy on battling shithead, but who needs that? I guess the
Shams thrive on it. When I started my record company, I searched the name and didn't find anything, then later found that there had been two other companies with the same name (Propeller), one in Boston, one in New Zealand. Both labels had been defunct for at least ten years. I contacted the NZ folks and they were fine with me using the name. Then lately there's a company in uh I can't remember Netherlands (?) called Propeller Music (mine is Propeller Records) and I started getting a lot of email requesting demos of their latest release. I feel like we're in a an age now where everything has already been used unless it's a compound name like "Silver Screwdrivers and Medicine Show Camping Band". But if you're serious about doing business, might as well get the trademark, and please copyright your songs and even set up publishing companies for yourselves. Just in case you do take off and you might, that framework will already be in place.

Oh...I'm not sure how all of that works in Canada.