Via Barry Neil Shrum:
On August 7th, a lawsuit was filed by Kristen Alison Hall, former member of the country band, Sugarland, against the remaining original members of the band, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush.
Essentially, the lawsuit alleges that Nettles and Bush breached a partnership agreements… Among other facts alleged, Hall claims that she contributed the trademark, “Sugarland” to the partnership.
This lawsuit provides a dramatic visual aid as to why it is so important for musical groups to plan in advance with regard to issues such as who owns the band name in the event of a dispute.
Either a band partnership agreement, or a properly established limited liability company or corporation, can effectively provide for what happens to the name in the event a member leaves…
If your band does not have a written document dealing with this issue, you should consider retaining an entertainment attorney for such purposes, particular if your band is starting to generate significant income.
Most bands don’t really think or plan for things to go sour because they don’t think it will happen to them. Having an agreement with everyone will help ease everyone’s minds if things do go sour (especially if you’re starting to bring in more and more money).
It’s like a pre-nup. You don’t expect or want things to go sour, but you also can’t predict the future.
Take Control of Your Music