Wednesday, December 12, 2012

UPDATE: Future Ghosts under attack after cease/desist letter to NC Future Ghosts


Chicago's Future Ghosts (facebook.com/futureghosts)
Local shoegaze/dream poppers Future Ghosts have come under harsh attacks today. According to a press release from Earshot Media:
"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.

100 comments:

  1. I realize that they trademarked the name, but until a certain level of fame is reached, does it really matter?

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  2. I don't see what the "Future Ghosts camp" is saying. Where is the proof that Future Ghosts NC is stealing anything? They clearly labeled the covers as such, gave credit to original artists, and never attempted to make money off of said covers, making it perfectly legal and ok. His argument of impersonating The Rolling Stones is terrible, considering The Rolling Stones have been covered numerous times, along with thousands of other bands of different states of fame doing the same. They never once took credit for anything the Chicago based FG did. FG from Chicago are coming across as hostile and childlike with this whole situation.

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    1. Actually it is illegal but too numerous for Youtube to enforce. They are working on technology to improve enforcement content. So being legal is a myth by association.

      http://www.wired.com/business/2012/05/opinion-baio-criminal-creativity/

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  3. @anonymous They weren't saying anything about covering the Rolling Stones. They were saying that no one calls themselves the Rolling Stones, since they are aware that band exists. Future Ghosts NC admitted to knowing that Future Ghosts Chicago existed. They should have know that something was going to happen at some point. Is the Chicago band, necessarily right for going so far? Who's to say. NC band says no attempt was made to contact them, while CHI band says they had trouble making any progress with the manager, thus why they took it so far. As far as credit, from what I know, people were posting on the NC facebook wall posting how much they like the CHI band, then the NC band did nothing to correct the situation, therefore taking credit. As we can't see the NC bands' FB now, we can't say for sure.

    As for the youtube covers, it is sort of a knitpicking point, since a lot of bands do that, but that appears to be more of a philosophical position the band takes in general.

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    1. And as far as I know, people were posting on the NC facebook wall about how much they liked the NC band. It's hard to tell when you don't have both sides to look at. Judging from the comments now flooding the chicago FG page, it seems most people don't like them...

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    2. I may have misinterpreted the situation, but how I understand it is NC band taking credit for Chicago's work. As for the comments on Chicago's page, I think most of the is fueled by a very misleading press release that many blogs have reposted word for word. Let's keep in mind its the NC band and their people making this public, so its hard to see the objective side.

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    3. Where's the evidence of people going to the wrong facebook page?

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    4. Let's keep in mind it's the IL band that apparently sent the C&D with no communication prior and then immediately took action before the time allotted. The only thing the NC band has actually posted was telling people why their social sites are down, and that they are trying to contact to figure out a solution. Nowhere does it say they are fueling this fire and telling people to comment on the IL page. Of course they made it public. People wondered why they couldn't access the reverbnation/facebook/bandcamp pages. Keep journalism unbiased, please.

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    5. Well, we don't have any now, because the page was taken down. Like I said, that's what I've interpreted the case to be. But true, we cannot say for sure that was the case.

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    6. How in the world did you come to that interpretation?

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    7. @anonymous3:16 Here's what I wrote: "The worst part about this is how many other blogs have been reposting this email verbatim without checking the facts (sigh...), inciting hateful comments." That was directed at the blogs inciting the comments, again, reposting WORD FOR WORD a not entirely true press release. For links, see Future Ghosts NC twitter page where they have posted many of these. Like I also said: "For their part, the Greensboro Future Ghosts have remained calm and trying to figure out what best to do in this situation." I think I tried to remain unbiased (save for the fact that this is a Chicago website that supports Chicago bands). But I do appreciate you interpreting what we do here as journalism :)

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    8. @Ian unofficial statement from FG Chicago: "Recently they ran into a huge conflict where Sean got some major airplay on WXRT and all the Kudos ended up on a Future Ghosts link in North Carolina. The NC fans and the band were taking credit for their work." I was wrong to say Facebook, and I will look further into what link this is.

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    9. There's nothing wrong with supporting local Chicago bands. It's another thing to support a bar band who happens to have a bandcamp release try to take down a larger band that is more successful. That is what I see here. You call everything posted about the NC band as false and libalous, say they did not fact check, when in fact you have not fact checked yourself. You sit there and spout out things based off your "interpretations" as fact. I read the articles. I read nothing that came across as libelous. Like I said. Try to keep your journalism (loosely at that) unbiased. It helps your credibility.

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    10. @Andrew 3:25

      That's not FG from NC taking credit. That's a radio station fucking up.

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    11. Sigh. I said *everything* is false and libelous? Then my fingers are typing something different from what my mind intends. I apologize.

      As far as taking down "a larger band that is more successful," I would have no idea who FG NC is without FG Chicago. This coming from someone who listens to a lot a lot a lot of music. True, they are different styles, and FG NC isn't really my style, but I don't see them blowing up the charts or touring the world.

      I also don't believe I ever said FG CHI were "right" (morally) to do this. However, there is no reason for FG NC's fans to blast their Facebook wall like they have. If that's the type of fanbase they want to cultivate, fine, but keep it in NC.

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    12. We'd love to have kept it in NC. Too bad CHI FG had to take that away.

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    13. In case anyone is having trouble finding it, here is a copy/paste of the radio station post and comments:

      93XRT shared a link via Local Anesthetic.
      Monday
      Discover new Chicago music via Local Anesthetic w/ The Modern Sounds, Mooner, Future Ghosts & more - http://93XRT.com/local

      Do you have a favorite Chicago band? Tell us:

      Anesthetic Playlist For December 9, 2012 [Free Download] - WXRT
      cbsloc.al
      All sorts of good stuff this week. Sing and Play for You from The Modern Sounds is so nice we played it twice. Mos Funnel was a nice surprise. As I said last night, coming from a Waits/Beefheart angle is tough to pull off with any validity but these guys are right there. Real nice record. I’ve alrea...
      1Like · · Share
      6 people like this.

      Donnie Biggins The Shams Band, Go Long Mule, The Dirty Pigeons, Michele McGuire, Derek Nelson
      Monday at 1:07pm · Like

      Jared Rabin Falldown!
      Monday at 1:07pm · Like · 1

      Sean Leitsch Ides Of March!
      Monday at 1:11pm · Like

      Sean Leitsch (Yes they are still out performing!!!)
      Monday at 1:11pm · Like

      Bob Regan Urge Overkill the best
      Monday at 1:11pm · Like

      Joseph Williamson Van Ghost! And Fresh Hops
      Monday at 1:12pm via mobile · Like

      Mary Jo Toscano The Bribes
      Monday at 1:19pm · Like · 1

      Nikki Bianco Volca
      Monday at 1:28pm via mobile · Like

      Nikki Bianco Volcanoes Make Islands
      Monday at 1:29pm via mobile · Like · 1

      Greg Schorsch Al Scorch and the Country Soul Ensemble
      Monday at 1:32pm · Like

      Scott L. Robinson Wilco ! Hands down ! !
      Monday at 1:42pm via mobile · Like

      Rick Youngfelt Poi Dog Pondering (via Austin)
      Monday at 1:50pm via mobile · Like

      Kyle Hernandez Witchfeet is a good new local indie rock band (and no, I'm not in said band!)
      Monday at 2:30pm · Like

      Brian H Suárez Audiences
      Monday at 2:44pm · Like · 1

      Lisa Toland Smola CATHY RICHARDSON!!! Why doesn't XRT play her anymore?!?!
      Monday at 5:51pm via mobile · Like

      Daniel Whittier Huber my own bands Old Shoe and of course Mos funnel
      Monday at 11:32pm · Like

      Gregory William Fundis Old Shoe
      Monday at 11:34pm · Like · 1

      Aslan Freeman Just wanted to clear this up real quick, since no one else has yet. The "Future Ghosts" tagged in this post is incorrect. Please follow the link to http://www.facebook.com/futureghosts to find the band that was played on 93XRT. Sorry for any confusion.

      Future Ghosts
      Future Ghosts® formed in 2005 in Bloomington Indiana as a college recording proj...See More
      Page: 317 like this
      Yesterday at 12:38pm · Like · Remove Preview

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    14. @Andrew. Right. Because with your blog on local Chicago music, you alone are the one to determine notoriety of all bands. You base your article on assumptions and the fact that you missed a band therefore the band must not have any credit? I too have listened to "a lot a lot a lot" of music. Yet Im sure i havent heard everything out there. Do i simply dismiss it? No. You need to stop while you're still somewhat credible in your small hipster universe

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    15. To further solidify Aslan's claim (so you don't think he made it up) here's a screen shot of what transpired...

      http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/481495_10151358893100987_627762236_n.jpg

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  4. @richard probably not. but again, the NC band knew the Chicago band existed. Just because a band has no "social media" presence, doesn't negate a bands existence, you know?

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    1. The thing that didn't exist until well after both bands had been formed was a Trademark. A trademark that is supposed to represent the brand, and as far as a brand if you do a simple google search of "Future Ghosts" to see what the brand would be, who comes out on top? It is one sided in favor of NCFG.

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    2. Popularity doesn't matter if the trademark is registered, even though popularity is gained using someone else's trademarked name.

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    3. How do we know that FG NC knew about FG CHI? The no "social media" presence comment seemed to be pointed at showing the FG NC didn't know that FG CHI existed, not that FG CHI didn't exist.

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  5. Question for you, Andrew: have you tried reaching the other band for comment?

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    1. Outside of a tweet at 'em, nothing yet, as I wanted to wait for a response from their PR person. hard to tell the easiest way to reach bands these days, and considering how active they were on twitter earlier, thought it would get a response. I'll send out an email now, but may not be able to update until later tonight since I have to go to work soon(bloggin' don't pay the bills!)

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    2. Apologies if we missed your tweet Andrew! Due to the removal of our Facebook, our Twitter has reverted to posting directly from my personal page, which is why there has been so much perceived activity. Usually Twitter is one of our lesser-used sites. The best way to get in touch with us is still just good ole-fashioned e-mail! We check it constantly and always publicize it with a request for any comments or questions for our band.

      Obviously we have been a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but feel free to send us a message and we'll reply as quickly as we can!

      You can still find our official website here as well:
      www.futureghostsmusic.com

      Thanks!

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  6. Whoa, wait, what? I am interpreting the situation as this: Future Ghosts own the trademark. Saw a band from NC is also called Future Ghosts and are gaining some publicity. Send cease and desist order. That's basically it, right? I dont see any where that the NC band was "taking" credit for the Chicago band's work. How would that even work? Also, another thing I noticed - earlier today there were at least 4 other bands on Facebook called Future Ghosts, and as of right now, I cannot find their FB pages either.

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  7. Actually, scratch that last part. Facebook was being weird.

    Here's the NC band's new FB: https://www.facebook.com/awesomefutureghostsnotthebadone?fref=ts

    Here's a band from the UK called Future Ghosts: https://www.facebook.com/FutureGhostsUK

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    1. Just to clarify, that first FB that you claimed is the NC FG's new FB is not actually their new FB. A friend of the band made that late last night in an effort to show support for the NC FG in their time of need. It was not sanctioned by the band at its inception.

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    2. I would like to second that, if you check the page again you can see that it has been clarified as well on the page.

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  8. Ok, and as for that XRT situation. Basically it just sounds like whoever the XRT social media person is simply just tagged the wrong band on Facebook.

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  9. NC Future Ghosts (NC) are signed to a reputable indie label (Round Kid Records), have toured with To Speak of Wolves (Tooth & Nail) and others, and have a legitimate national following. Compare over 30,000 Youtube views for NC's "Spotless" music video to 88 Youtube views for Chicago's "Radiatorsong." Then compare 2,263 Facebook "likes" for NC to 317 for Chicago. I don't think anyone was going over to NC's Facebook thinking they were complimenting Chicago. It's clear who the real band is here. Chicago's FG is a local bar band acting like vindictive little kids. Maybe they're just jealous the NC Future Ghosts have a promising career ahead of them. Still not sure why they felt like hurting NC would somehow help them. Doesn't make sense.

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    1. If RK records was a reputable label, the first thing they should of done was check the USPTO for trademark rights on the name before they started publishing records. It would be up to RK to legally address with the other band. In the big scheme of things both are small bands and it would of made no difference anyway. Seems like frustration and not jealousy that a record label would be so arrogant to bypass legal recognition of another bands name.

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    2. If "both are small bands" then why trademark the name at all. Who has ever heard of a teeny tiny local bar band trademark or brand anything? I could understand if they were huge and FGNC was using their name to gain fame, but FGNC had nothing to gain from the little kids in CH. You think it's arrogant that RK didn't do their do diligence. I think it's arrogant that FGCH think they have a brand at all, and that FGNC was somehow using it to gain fame. These kids must be living in another universe, or else they're completely delusional.

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    3. If you have a brand, you trademark it. End of story.

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    4. Right...

      What was their brand again? Local band...been around 8 years...haven't gained more than 300 fans...barely have any local buzz...nice guys and a girl who enjoy making music.

      That's not a brand. That's a local band, and there are too many of them to count.

      You only have a brand if you're actually making money off of your product.

      There was no brand here. Just some kids with a dream. Maybe they thought this would help them achieve their dream, but be honest...this was not a brand. End of story.

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  10. Hey just wanted to point out of you go to 93XRT's facebook, Aslan Freeman of the FG band from NC actually politely redirected everyone to the correct FG page before any of this went down. Hey! What's he doing??? Stop taking credit you!

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    1. How dare Aslan give this band credit where credit is due only to be stabbed in the back! It's almost like "honor" and "ethics" are still real things. Gosh, Aslan, get with the times!

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    2. Haha thanks for noticing. We have actually arrived at shows several times to find that all of the fliers at the venue, as well as all the venue's online promotion has actually been linking to the Chicago Future Ghosts.

      In those cases, it is our fault for not noticing and correcting the venue on the situation. We have no desire to blame the other band or try to strip them of their name/web presence.

      Therefore, when we noticed the post on our page from the radio station and realized it was incorrect, it was baffling to note that no one from the other band had commented yet to correct and redirect readers, if it was such an important event for them. We were even more surprised when after making no comment there, they sent us a cease and desist instead, as though that were their reaction to a mis-tag on Facebook.

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  11. It would suck for a great band who is widely known as Future Ghosts by a fairly large following (more so than the CHI one, anyhow) to have to change their name so that a group of Pop-challenged kids from Chicago can go on to do nothing with the name.

    If you think Future Ghosts is such a clever name that the damage is irreparable, then come up with another clever name. It's hard to care about your music when your childish behavior is blurring it out.

    You say you made Future Ghosts? Make another Future Ghosts. Shouldn't be too difficult right? Although, it's not a good case for you when your band (with five members and an "agent" between you) couldn't grasp the concept of emailing these kids in NC and talking things out professionally before pulling out the Internet Badass card.

    Besides, if you couldn't already tell CHIFG doesn't have a case against NCFG, the fact that CHIFG felt the need to trademark their name — along with the fact that they felt the need to call out NCFG for playing cover songs for fun and putting them on the Internet — should clear that up for you.

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  12. wow. this article was written by someone who was incredibly uninformed. you think a band with THOUSANDS of facebook fans was trying to take credit from the Chicago band, with under 300? i understand supporting bands in your hometown, but at least attempt to get some of the facts straight.

    also, just making this clear if it hasnt been made clear yet: posting a video of a live cover song on youtube isnt even remotely illegal. the Chicago Future Ghosts really seem to know very little about the music industry. if they did, they would know that they actually opened themselves up to legal action being taken against them by contacting the band and the social media sites on the same day, instead of giving the band 5-7 days minimum to clear it up on their own. this whole thing is just ridiculous.

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    1. They did this to another band called Future Ghost in Los Angeles and didn't even send them a cease and desist letter at all. Nope, zero notification.

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    2. What actually happened there was that the band in LA's Bandcamp page was listed as one they thought may be infringing while they were trying to come after our sites. They did not intend to file a claim against the LA band, it was simple and unfortunate collateral damage. Although it may not help their case in court that they had a completely non-infringing site taken down with no warning at all...

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    3. Checking the USPTO, the Chicago Band applied for the trademark in February 2011 and was pending for opposition for 14 months. No claims were made against the trademark and it was granted as registered giving Chicago exclusive rights to that name. Actually they had every right under federal and international law to do what they did.

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    4. People have legal rights to do all kinds of crazy things in different societies. In some cultures husbands have the right to beat and even kill their wives in the case of adultery. 60 years ago we had the legal right to discriminate between blacks and whites in the States. Just because lawmakers give you a legal right to do something doesn't mean it's morally right.

      FGCH's attitude is what's wrong with the music industry and our society as a whole. You think, "I'm going to get what's mine and achieve fame and success no matter who I have to hurt along the way." Then you justify your actions by claiming you had the legal right to do so. Is this the American Dream: "Forget other human beings. Forget the hard work and sacrifice of your 'competition'. Just be the smartest player in the game, stay one step ahead of everyone else, and look out for number one." If this is it, then well played FGCH. You truly are American in your mindset, and have helped us continue down our path of degradation. So much for compassion, love, and grace. So much for respect, decency and kindness So much for the Golden Rule.

      There's no happiness for you at the end of this road.

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  13. Hey. Just wondering why the band Future Ghost (not Ghosts) got rolled up in this. They were not sent a cease and desist letter. Their fb and bandcamp were taken down with no notice.

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    1. The band Future Ghost from LA that is.

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    2. Dude...that's just messed up and childish. My heart goes out to that band as well.

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    3. Yeah the only reason they even figured out what was going on was through the publicity of what happened with FGNC.

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    4. What actually happened there was that the band in LA's Bandcamp page was listed as one they thought may be infringing while they were trying to come after our sites. They did not intend to file a claim against the LA band, it was simple and unfortunate collateral damage. Although it may not help their case in court that they had a completely non-infringing site taken down with no warning at all...

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    5. Thanks for that info!

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    6. In legal terms, Federal Court would view that as confusing similarity when the claim was made and grant the Chicago band their right since the trademark is registered to them for exclusive use.

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    7. Confusing similarity goes both ways. There have been cases such as this where company A won over company B, even though B had the rights first because Bwas causing more confusion for A's apparently larger consumer base. Like someone said already, trademarks are tricky. This will probably come down to a judge deciding via commonlaws.

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  14. that's not true. trademarks are tricky. since the Greensboro band was using the name before the trademark was registered the Greensboro band should own pre existing rights to the trademark. the court would have to decide who has what rights and where. trademarks also have to do with geogrephical locations so it gets real complicated.

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  15. This is why the trademark lies in state (TM)for up to a year or more for objections or claims. If there isn't any, then it is awarded ® for exclusive usage for brand identification. A certificate is awarded and a legal notice is published. It is amazing that a record company manager doesn't understand this fact. No one has the right under federal law to use exclusive rights without permission. This is why their sites were probably disabled.

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    1. If this thing has pending for a year, why didn't FGCH tell FGNC? My guess is they knew if NC objected, it would be game over for CH. It's clear who has a legitimate brand here, and it's not CH. :/

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  16. If a trademark owner believes someone is infringing his or her trademark, the first thing the owner is likely to do is to write a "cease-and-desist" letter which asks the accused infringer to stop using the trademark. If the accused infringer refuses to comply, the owner may file a lawsuit in Federal or state court. The court may grant the plaintiff a preliminary injunction on use of the mark -- tell the infringer to stop using the trademark pending trial.

    If the owner successfully proves trademark infringement in court, the court has the power to: order a permanent injunction; order monetary payment for profit the plaintiff can prove it would have made but for defendant's use of the mark; possibly increase this payment; possibly award a monetary payment of profits the defendant made while using the mark; and possibly order the defendant to pay the plaintiff's attorney fees in egregious cases of infringement.

    Of course, the determination of infringement is actually one that will be made by the court, so a trademark owner is simply using a best guess about whether or not infringement actually has occurred. That best guess may be a good one, based on experience and expertise, or it may be a bad one that doesn't reflect any of the legitimate defenses that might exist. The law doesn't require the mark owner to sue everyone; it just requires the owner to keep his mark distinctive.

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    1. You're forgetting that the trademark holders jumped the gun on dishing out some trademark justice by breaking the cease and desist time limit set by themselves (5 days) within an hour. Not exactly legal. Also, no apparent form of communication was used prior to the cease and desist. Not exactly illegal, but highly frowned upon by most judges, and seen as hostile instead of defensive.

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  17. FGCH's bio says they formed in December, 2005. After EIGHT YEARS they're still playing local bars and getting excited about local press. Time to try something new, guys.

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  18. RK Records arrogantly intimidated them by claiming that Universal was their parent company and they had lawyers that will deal with the situation. FGCH were left with little choice. So much for the little guy I guess.

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    1. Nothing arrogant or intimidating about it. RK Records IS owned by Universal. RK Records does have lawyers, for such situations. Did you really think legal matters wouldn't involve lawyers? That's just arrogant in and of itself.

      And yeah, so much for the little guy who tried to bully someone else.

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  19. The Chicago guys had everything pulled from the web before contacting the Greensboro band it was probably their record labels reaction to the malicious acts of the Chicago band. what you do if someone else pulled all your stuff off the internet and then contacted you after? I'd probably try to intimidate too. and from what I can see online rkr is distributed by universal don't know what that means though in this case

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  20. Hey people -- Let's all just take a few steps back and refrain from the trash talking. Or, if you're going to anonymously and incessantly haze the Chicago band, don't then accuse them of "childish" behavior. Oh, the Chicago FG's are just a wittle "bar band"... Guess what? Nobody has heard of either band (at least yet...no offense). Let's not over-dramatize the alleged rising stardom of the Greensboro group. I get it, they are one of the thousands of poor bands on an indie-label. They tour with other "label" bands that nobody has ever heard of. Good for them, really, but we should keep it in perspective.

    Bottom line: This situation sucks for BOTH bands (currently more so for the NCFG's) but you guys are making it so much worse. Let's wait for the smoke to clear? Anyone? Is this thing on?

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    1. Try not to use words like "nobody" or "everybody" when entering a debate. You immediately discredit yourself.

      Thanks for calling out the anonymous bloggers though. They're all so childish and over-dramatic. Wait, what was your name again?

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  21. You would think the NCFG would tell their fans to take the high road and not bully and threaten another person with bodily harm. What kind of fans are that? Nothing wrong with supporting "your" band, but how about doing it like grown ups? Do you really think it's such a terrible thing to protect your own property rights? FGCH were the ones first threatened with legal action. Wouldn't you think a big high powered company with a bunch of lawyers would check copyrights before they signed a band to a record contract? Seems like record business 101 to me. I don't think either band here is bad or evil. Everybody needs to put on their big boy pants and deal with reality.

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    1. FGCH tried to bully every other band in the world with the name Future Ghost(s). They didn't consider that there was a Future Ghosts in NC that actually has a legitimate and loyal national following. Doesn't matter if you've never heard of the band. Thousands of others have, and we're all angered by FGCH's actions. The kids from CH started this whole mess with their bullying. They're simply reaping what they sowed.

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    2. Standing up for yourself is not bullying. Threatening people with bodily harm and name calling is. Maybe you're not taught that in NC, and maybe YOU should start thinking about karma as well.....(i.e. "reaping what you sow").

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    3. For the record, I haven't threatened anyone and don't condone that kind of behavior. I did love seeing the Facebook comments though (which have all been deleted). FGCH deserves every bit of flack they've received online (barring these alleged physical threats).

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    4. Sooooo you DO condone threats and bullying or you DON'T condone it? They deserve not one bit of "flack" as you call it. What they have done was not done in a mean spirited way. Maybe you're not happy with it, but it was not done in an attempt to be mean spirited. The "flack" you speak of may or may not have been done or "condoned" by you, but it's mean spirited at the very least. Shame on you for not publicly saying that childish attacks and playground name calling are not to be tolerated.

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    5. I just read the statement from CH.

      As far as I can tell the only thing he had to gain by trademarking the name was the termination of every other Future Ghosts' web presence. How is that not malicious or hostile. He can spin it however he wants, but it still seems like he did this out of frustration and annoyance that NCFG was rapidly gaining popularity while his project still hadn't taken off.

      oh...I don't condone violence, but did enjoy the comments. So, no support for violence and threats, but full support for everything else.

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    6. Again, I would just like to reiterate that the name was NOT TRADEMARKED (copyright law is a completely different matter) when we chose it, or when we were signed. Also, our usual, and by far most reliable, method of contacting and informing the majority of our fans was our Facebook page. It's hard to announce from something that doesn't exist. We were not monitoring the other bands page, and so did not see all, or even most, of the comments but we do apologize if anyone's feelings were hurt.

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  22. You mean its OK to use a name that FGCH used since 2005, took the time to spend money on to protect omnly to have some fancy businessman exploit them to a point where the FGCH guys are being bullied to give up their bandname? Hurray for the little guy FG CHICAGO for standing up on their own 2 feet and fighting a big record company to maintain their dignity and respect.

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    1. They've been a band since 2005 and have barely made a dent on their local music scene. What brand were they protecting?

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    2. Uh.....the brand that they took the time and the necessary steps to protect. You know...that brand.

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    3. Haha, oh that brand! Got it! It all makes sense now...

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    4. Well, you're smarter than you seem then.

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    5. Hey, "fancy businessman" here! Just wanted to say that we never asked them, much less bullied them, into giving up their band name. Though our label dealt with the e-mails for legal purposes (just as their "agent" dealt with theirs), the correspondence was passed onto us. The response on our end was advising them that we had a legitimate claim as well, and would be willing to continue joint use of the name, otherwise they should please notify us that they would like to settle the matter in court.

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  23. I know the Chicago band and seen them play. Their music is great and put on a very good show. It is hard for me to think any of them are bullies. They are home town working class who try to make ends meet and are passionate at what they do. It is a shame people are so hateful to them.

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  24. There's also 3 bands called neighborhood. neighborhood and nghbrhd all getting tons of press rift now and getting big but you don't see any of them pulling this sort of shit with trademarks

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  25. "Thanks for calling out the anonymous bloggers though. They're all so childish and over-dramatic. Wait, what was your name again?"

    The issue isn't anonymity, it's ignorant hate-speech. Also, who are these anonymous bloggers you speak of? I was talking about commentators...obviously -- and wait, did you suggest that I was a blogger for posting a comment? Is this blogging? Thanks for your input.

    The problem is all of these so-called "music fans" spewing shit, when they clearly don't grasp the situation. Grow up.

    Last of all, it doesn't matter how BIG a band is, they came first and chose to protect their name. Maybe do some basic research and DON'T give your band the same name as another group.

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    1. FGCH is an eight-year-old hobby that has had very little (if any) commercial success. I doubt they ever have or ever will turn a profit, so all members will be keeping their day jobs. Imagine if every local band in the world started trademarking their names? Most of them break up before ever making a dent on their regional scene, let alone a national or international scene. There'd be thousands of words we wouldn't be allowed to use online because some kids in a band thought it'd be cool to trademark their band name, and then regulate its usage on social media.

      I get why we can't use "NFL" or "Super Bowl" online to describe a Super Bowl Party. The NFL makes money off of their name. It seems extreme for them to regulate the usage of their name on Facebook, but I get it. It makes some sense.

      What does't make sense is a local band that doesn't make any money off of its name trying to regulate its usage online.

      It's so childish and petty.

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  26. There was a band from SC called Set Apart that I really liked (they've since broken up). I remember when they came to play in Raleigh the Reverbnation event had three or four different Set Aparts on the bill, because the event creator couldn't find the right one.

    Nobody got mad. Everyone knew that the Set Apart on the bill wasn't some random church band from Ohio. Everyone was just understanding and willing to work with each other.

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    1. But they had to clear it up right? They couldn't go on having three bands with the same name.

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    2. No, they didn't. Until one of those bands takes off, it really doesn't matter anyways. Most local bands break up before ever getting famous, so it's pointless to trademark your name unless you actually make money off of your name. No one is making money off the name "Future Ghosts," especially not FGCH. It was aggressive, premature, hostile, and malicious to take this kind of action. Totally unnecessary, and caused more damage than anything else.

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    3. It's totally subjective as to when some band "takes off" as you say. Fame has nothing to do with it. Money has nothing to do with it. It may have been aggressive, but not premature, hostile OR malicious. The only thing in this whole ordeal that is hostile or malicious is the acts of the so called "fans" of the NC band.

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    4. If fame or money have nothing to do with it, then please explain what the motivation is. All I've heard from the CH camp is that it's a dog eat dog world, and that this is business. Are we to conclude that this "business" is referring to something other than money, fame or success? Please explain.

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    5. If you don't understand the motivation for creativity, and that it could be for something other than money or fame I could explain to you for years and you will never get it.

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    6. Of course I understand the motivation for creativity. We're talking about the motivation for trademarking. What is the motivation for trademarking something besides money? Nobody was stopping FGCH from creating and distributing their music. They were just upset that there was another Future Ghosts out there that could possibly draw "business" (aka money) away from them.

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  27. Oh so its about commercial success and not your craft? The initial article stated that indie music took a big blow but it was FGNC who has the big corporate lawyers and eyes on commecialism where FGCH wast trying to protect their artistic work. It seems the FGNC plan was to trample on the smaller Indie group. David and Goliath, I hope David wins.

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    1. Did you even read what happened? Or did you just read the title of the article?

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    2. protect their work from what? nobody was messing with them. they were aggressive. they went after the indie band with the lawyers. they brought this on themselves.

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    3. Goliath was the instigator in the Biblical story you're referring to. He called out someone to fight him, he got a fight, and he lost. CH called out every other Future Ghost, claimed they owned the brand, and they got themselves a fight. Wouldn't that make CH the Goliath in your little "David and Goliath" scenario? I guess I'm pulling for David too.

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  28. Future Ghosts CH is ill informed about trademark laws. It doesnt matter who had the name first or who got the trademark. They can have a legal trademark but it doesnt give them full rights, in fact the trademark offices just issue the trademarks, they dont research or anything, its up to the courts, not the federal trademark offices to decide who it belongs to. Also, if two or more people/bands/companies are using the same name PRIOR to a trademark being registered, they are ALL entitled to rights to the name/trademark. Its up to the courts to decide who is entitled to what rights and where. FGCHI does not have the rights to dictate or enforce the trademark. There are pre-existing rights that FGNC owns since they were using the name before the trademark was registered. FGNC DOES NOT have to change their name and has every legal right to continue to use it. It will be interesting to see if they do change their name, but keep in mind that if they change their name it will be 100% voluntary.

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    1. So can they put their social media back up?

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    2. Ultimately that's up to the sites in question. Even if a court mandated that FGNC were to be granted full rights to the trademark, the websites have the right to regulate their own content how they see fit. But, to be fair, in that situation FGNC could technically submit a claim against FGCHI and none of them would have Facebooks haha.

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  29. im sure it takes a while to get it back up, those sites have the WORST customer service I have EVER dealt with......it will probably take letters from attorneys, some type of proof that FGNC has rights to the name, etc. Im sure it will take weeks at least to get the sites back up. Definitely not an easy fix and a HUGE headache. But they should never have been taken down in the first place. FGCH should have consulted an attorney and went about this a COMPLETELY different way. It was barbaric the way this went down and this sort of thing is VERY frowned upon in the music industry and business. Ive worked at Major labels in the music industry for the past 10 years and never saw anything like this lol

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  30. exhibit a: from future ghosts (chicago) "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. .........Future Ghosts (Chicago) will never do these things."

    exhibit b: http://vimeo.com/12652232

    youtube = bad, vimeo = good

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  31. Well being in a Charlotte band that's played with FG, they are great and honestly completely different. I've never seen them post anything that they haven't made. The Chicago band did get the trademark first, but based off of internet presence they are smaller than FG Greensboro. As for the negative comments on FG Chicago, Carolina fans are die hard and we don't have much if any bands that are touring and blowing up. You may not think FG Greensboro is going to get national, but they are. Keep in mind most people have no idea who The Strokes are and they are legendary for our time. Based off of HRVRD, Sugar Glyder and Flagship's national label pick ups, Carolina is looking like a new place for hot talent. Do not blame a band for their fans, and I hope this gets resolved soon. I honestly have been looking into trademarking my band's name because of this, so if anything this was a big eye opener for a lot of people.

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  32. Future Ghost (Chicago) just decided to give all their Band Camp download money they make on their record to charities.

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