|Chicago's Future Ghosts (facebook.com/futureghosts)|
"In a crippling blow that should be cause for concern among independent musicians everywhere, Greensboro, NC buzz band Future Ghosts have been hit with a cease and desist letter from an obscure band of the same name out of Chicago, IL, resulting in the removal of the band’s social media sites (Facebook, Reverbnation, Bandcamp, etc) leaving them scrambling with virtually no social media presence."The press release goes on:
"The Chicago band trademarked the name “Future Ghosts” back in April 2012, despite not have been active since 2006 and despite the fact that Greensboro’s Future Ghosts had already released an EP (Oh, Great City) back in 2011. Only recently did the Chicago band decide to reform and release a new record this year."Followers of Windy City Rock have seen Future Ghosts name quite a bit over the past few years, so I'm not sure where the alleged hiatus came into play. Unless there’s a second band from Chicago called Future Ghosts, not sure who I’ve been seeing live around the city and listening to at home. The worst part about this is how many other blogs have been reposting this email verbatim without checking the facts (sigh...), inciting hateful comments on the Future Ghosts (Chicago) Facebook page. Even a quick glance at Future Ghosts bandcamp page shows releases over the past three years.
For their part, the Greensboro Future Ghosts have remained calm and trying to figure out what best to do in this situation. While it would be silly to succumb to an “us vs. them” mentality, it's important that we support our Chicago artists.
I’m still waiting to hear back from Earshot about their sources and why they are spreading libelous remarks. We’ll keep you posted as new details emerge.
UPDATE 2:00 PM - Got an update from both sides of the argument. Earshot responds:
[T]he info was given to me by the band and their management...according to their label/management, when future ghosts in North Carolina started, the Chicago band had no website no Facebook page no music on iTunes nothing online to show they even existed. Chicago's future ghosts had all social media sites take down the Greensboro bands stuff prior to sending this cease and desist letter. im also told that by law since the Greensboro band released music before the trademark was made they have pre existing rights to the name that cannot be revoked. Chicago band has no right to control the name or take away the rights the Greensboro band has to it.And from the Future Ghosts camp:
It is truly a travesty that this had to happen. You have two talented bands with the same name, both elevating their status and careers. One with legal right of usage on without. Wouldn't you think a band preparing for success would have his manager at least take the time in doing due diligence like, protecting your band? However, I don't see anybody posing as the band name "Rolling Stones" and selling records on iTunes. I also can't understand why bands post covers of others people's music on Youtube without permission. It just has a lack of intellectual integrity to me. What is independent and original music supposed to be? Everyone stealing others names? Thoughts and ideas and contrived to their own? Taking credit for others shows and performances on their Facebook page? Is that right? Future Ghosts (Chicago) will never do these things.