The professional name that an artist performs under is a valuable commodity to both the artist and to any record company that releases the artist. Both the artist and the record company should be concerned that the name is protected, and that the rights in the name are reserved and understood. Usually, a record contract will have provisions dealing with the name, whether it is the artist's real name or a professional name. This article will discuss some of the common problems surrounding names.
The record label will essentially be concerned with two aspects of the name. First, the label will demand that the artist warrant and represent that the name used by the artist is in fact owned by the artist. Second, the label will demand that the artist grant to the label the right to use the name for publicity and promotion of the artist's recordings.
Often, the ownership of the name is disputed. There are three common scenarios:
A. There could be a question as to who owns the name between the artist and a third party (i.e., producer, production company, label, manager). In these situations, there is usually a contract between the artist and the third party that sets forth who in fact owns the name.
[part 2 next time]
Ben McLane Esq