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Solution for the Lady A / Lady Antebellum Flap


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In case you don't know the backstory, here it is.

 

Here's the solution: Lady Antebellum changes their name to Lady AB.

 

I have just saved all concerned probably about $100,000 in legal fees. PM me for where to send the check :)

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I don't like the idea that the band is trying to take her name.

 

If they want to buy it, she sets the price, and they both can negotiate. If they can't settle, I don't think they should be able to cop her name just because they are more famous.

 

I know the band also has a brand to protect, but no matter what they change it to, they won't lose their following. Prince didn't lose fans with the unpronounceable symbol.

 

It'll be interesting to see how this works out.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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this is a difficult situation for sure. I have been following it from when the news first broke. I remember Lady Antebellum when they were on American Idol so many years ago. Shame it had to come to this.
:nopity:
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It's not difficult at all. Lady A got there first. Lady Antebellum was the band's name. If they feel they should change their name, it should probably be to something other than someone else's brand.

 

However, being the generous person that I am, if they want to change their name to "Lady Anderton's Sound, Studio, and Stage," I'll do it for $100K. It's a steal :)

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The way I see it is this:

 

Lady Antebellum is changing their name because Antebellum denotes a period of history where white privilege was used to steal freedom and labor from black people. They say they are changing their name to be kind to all black people.

 

So Lady Antebellum is changing their name to Lady A supposedly to get rid of that association. However the word "Antebellum" is still implied and everybody knows it.

 

It is like Kanye West changing his name to Kanye W, or Elvis Presley to Elvis P. - no significant difference. Antebellum, West and Presley are still registered in the brains when the new name is heard.

 

If I say "Here's an old song by Elvis P." what do you think?

 

The ironic conclusion:

 

So after supposedly changing their name to be kind to black people, they want to steal the name of a black woman and therefore severely damage the livelihood of that black person by using their white privilege. When people look Lady A up on Spotify, they aren't going to get the original, black blues singer.

 

Isn't that extremely hypocritical?

 

Pay the real Lady A the $10M and be done with it, keep the name Lady Antebellum, buy the name Betty Aberlin used in the Mr. Rogers show, "Lady Aberlin", buy Ambersons from the Orson Wells estate, or change it to Lady Reconstruction, or Lady Sharecroppers. :D

 

How about Lady Postbellum or Lady Afterbellum?

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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If they feel they should change their name, it should probably be to something other than someone else's brand.

 

I agree with that. Except when the person who already "owns the brand" (but not legally) says "but if you give me $10 million US dollars" I'll figure out a way to be OK with it.

 

Changes the dynamic.

:nopity:
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They could just go away, would not bother me in the slightest.

 

Notes nailed it.

 

Or they could go to the Lowdown forum and check the Name My Band thread for ideas. Some great stuff there...

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Well, there is such a thing as obtaining a trademark for a professional name. Did the Seattle Lady A have her name trademarked? If so, that would settle the whole thing right there.

 

Is there a good reason why The Band Formerly Known As Lady Antebellum might know about a local Seattle blues singer? It's not like she's a household name (maybe in Seattle?). But on the other hand, did TBFKALA or their management think to look for other musicians or singers using the name Lady A? She does have a Wikipedia page, but if you Googled or Duck Duck Went her last month I'll bet even that would be hard to find. All that being said, seems like there could have been a more peaceful solution. Is there some reason why choosing Lady A was so important that they couldn't come up with an alternative? Maybe even one that suggests their musical approach (which, I thought, "antebellum" sort of did, at least a little)?

 

The winners, obviously, will be the lawyers.

 

I live in a formerly Confederate state and we have a mess now with citizens and municipalities tearing down beautiful statues. But you can't erase history.

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Well, there is such a thing as obtaining a trademark for a professional name. Did the Seattle Lady A have her name trademarked? If so, that would settle the whole thing right there.

 

The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum had the Lady A name trademarked in 2010, according to them.

 

The blues singer Lady A is calling this "white privledge".

 

Not taking sides here, just passing on the info I have read.

:nopity:
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A web page archived by the wayback machine from June 2015:

http://web.archive.org/web/20150613000152/http://www.ladyababyblues.com/

 

A page from the wayback machine from November 2016:

http://web.archive.org/web/20161113021923/http://www.ladyababyblues.com/

 

A web page marked with a 2020 date which references 2018 activities:

http://web.archive.org/web/20200607003032/https://www.ladyababyblues.com/cd-reviews-2018

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The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum had the Lady A name trademarked in 2010, according to them.

 

The blues singer Lady A is calling this "white privledge".

 

Apparently Seattle Lady A has been performing under that name since 2009, maybe earlier, but apparently didn't register the name. Perhaps the "white privilege" part is that black musicians without an on-the-ball management weren't aware of the process and the protection it offered.

 

I don't want to take sides either, but I think that TBFKALA made a reasonable proposal that the two could co-exist without there being confusion as to who's who.

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I don't think $10M was an absurd asking price. You are supposed to start high and end up somewhere in the middle. I bet she would have settled for $3M and the right to keep her name.

 

True, if she had trademarked her name earlier it would have solved the problem, but really, how many acts actually do that. Have you trademarked the name of every band you have been in? Is your own name tradmarked?

 

Remember Prince and John Fogarty actually lost their given birth names to the record companies and had to fight in court to get them back.

 

I still think the irony of getting rid of a potentially offensive name to black people by stealing the name from a black artist and then suing that black artist is hypocritical.

 

I still think they should either negotiate with her, or pick a new name.

 

Just be nice about, put yourself in her position, and do unto others.

 

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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If they feel they should change their name, it should probably be to something other than someone else's brand.

 

I agree with that. Except when the person who already "owns the brand" (but not legally) says "but if you give me $10 million US dollars" I'll figure out a way to be OK with it.

 

Changes the dynamic.

 

From the linked article: "White asked for $10 million, which she says would have been split between herself and donations to Black Lives Matter, a charity for seniors and youth in Seattle, and musicians in need of legal counsel." It's not like she said she was going to buy a condo in Maui and a private jet.

 

Frankly, I think the "Blues Lady A" was testing the hyprocrisy factor. Granted, if the Blues Lady A had never trademarked Lady A and Lady Antebellum trademarked it in 2010, it gets murky. I know with patents, if you can show prior art, you can blow a patent out of the water. But trademarks might not work the same way.

 

I think this is a golden PR opportunity for Lady Antebellum, regardless of whether they're sincere or not. They don't seem to see that. They could have come out of this smelling like a rose.

 

All they needed was a little creativity, like "Ok, $2 million, but you can be opening act in 2021 and 2022." Or whatever.

 

Maybe I'll go trademark Lady AB so I can charge them a million bucks :)

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Then they could do a "double album" with studio cuts and live recordings, and call it "Lady AB Comparison."

 

I'm telling ya, they're blowing it by not hiring me :)

You've got a point. And I think you might be less expensive than the lawyers will end up charging. (But don't sell yourself short) :D

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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My view is that the band has all the legal right to the name, as they trademarked it. But being legally right and doing what's best can be two different things. Especially considering they were not using it alongside the full name for years and years.

 

Lady A was splitting the money between herself, her community and some really good causes. And that only came up after a lot of failed attempts to communicate and resolve the issue. It just seems that the band should have found a way to work this out before suing (which is their legal right). The optics are terrible for them. And now, even if they do the right thing the stink is on them.

 

That said, I think it's wrong to call this an instance of white privilege. Rich privilege, perhaps...better business handling privilege...?

 

Jerry

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Lady AB sounds like some chick (assuredly not a Dixie Chick, they don't exist) that couldn't make up her mind between 2 suitors, so arranged to go on a date with both simultaneously, in order to A/B them side by side. Whereupon they both dumped her and swore never again to date a girl who hung out on musician forums.

 

Then they both went to a bacon bar and polished off a slab each, along with a case of beer, and became best friends for the rest of their lives. I love happy endings!

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Or they could call themselves "The Ladybirds," in honor of the 60s topless all-girl band. Come to think of it, I don't know if there are any major rock groups simply named "Lady." Why not grab that?

 

Or they could use the Latin, "Lady Ante Bellum," which simply means "before the war." They could say they were referring to the peloponnesian war, and how they always sympathized with the Athenians because they like Athens, Georgia.

 

So many solutions! C'mon, lawyers, get creative!

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