How to register a music project?
This question is asked not only by novice musicians, but also by experienced figures of the show industry. So, as the success of any artist depends not only on the constant “infusion” of funds and an aggressive advertising campaign.
It consists of many components, an important role of which is played by a bright image, the choice of the correct name, the original logo (the last of these elements was particularly relevant for the music of the 80s, early 90s). If the project is ready to “shoot” this minute immediately, then the question arises of the need for reliable protection of financial and creative investments.
Modern legislation does not provide for any special registration of musical projects and creative groups. However, there are various ways to protect against theft, for example, the name of the group. We will tell about some of them.
The first way is to register the name as a trademark. In accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin”, verbal, pictorial, three-dimensional and other designations and their combinations in any color or color combination can be registered as trademarks. Thus, it is allowed to register both the name of the musical project (verbal designation) and its image (logo), made using original fonts, symbols, design solutions. For example, the names of such famous groups as “SPICE GIRLS” and “ALICE” are registered trademarks.
The logo (from other Greek logos – the word + tipos – the imprint. Literally – the imprint of the word, name) – the original mark of the full or abbreviated name of the organization or product. The logo is the verbal part of the trademark.
As a trademark, you can register the concert image of the artist – the design of his costume, the original make-up mask (say, as members of the legendary KISS group), and even stage decorations. It should be borne in mind that works of art (including design and set design) and their fragments are subject to copyright, which may be registered as trademarks only with the consent of the author or his legal successors (owners of exclusive copyright rights ).
The owner of the trademark has exclusive rights to use and dispose of his mark, as well as to prohibit its use to others. It should be borne in mind that the trademark may not belong to a citizen (individual). Its registration is carried out only in the name of a legal entity or entrepreneur. The right to register a trademark, in particular, has the head of the musical group, registered as an entrepreneur without a legal entity and authorized by the members of the group to carry out transactions, a music publishing company or a rec-company. It should be noted that the performers are often selected to work under the ready name – the brand of the recording company.
The second way is to protect the name using the rules of copyright. In accordance with Clause 3, Article 6 of the Law of the Russian Federation “On Copyright and Related Rights”, part of the work (including its title) created by creative work is subject to copyright. In other words, copyright provides protection to a sufficiently original word or phrase that is the name of a work. This is the reason for the impossibility of extending copyright protection to the names of network domains (for example, Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Kodak are not names of works).
The name of the musical project is quite another matter. The name of their group musicians often assign the first album or one of the songs. Consequently, the owner of exclusive copyright on a musical work named after the group (or a composite work – collection, album) has the right to allow or prohibit third parties to use part of the work – its name in any way (for example, to reproduce on posters, in promotional materials, etc. .).
However, the question of the possibility of extending copyright protection to a one-word name is not entirely clear. According to N.V. Makagonova, the protection of such names is impossible due to:
1) the absence of the author’s creative contribution to a word that exists independently and objectively;
2) the impossibility of prohibiting other authors from using the basic unit of language as a toolkit of literary activity;
Indeed, the names of musical groups for the most part are far from original. Even many of those that consist of two or more words (for example, “TIME MACHINE” or “GAS SECTOR”) cannot be guarded in this way. The distribution of copyright on the names “VIRUS”, “DREAM” or “SECRETION” is simply not possible.