Surprise, surprise, fans weren’t happy.
The UK band Captives has been forced to change their name after an Australian band by the same name registered the trademark in the UK, sending a cease and desist and getting their music removed from online platforms like iTunes and Spotify. The UK band have now rebranded as Caskets, and their music has started to become available again.
While disappointing and annoying, I do support the notion that bands shouldn’t have the same name. Platforms like Last.fm and iTunes can’t really separate them if they have the same name. Obviously it can be difficult to come up with an original band name, and usually of little consequence if a little band no-one has heard of that just plays a few local gigs has the same name as another band. Additionally, the Australian band has clearly been using the name a lot longer, so it’s only fair they get to use the name.
Since then, the Australian band has claimed to have suffered “an absolute barrage of abuse” from fans of the UK band, and give a little insight into how this situation came about. The statement very quickly goes from complaining about unacceptable comments to slandering the UK band, before supporting some very similar comments made by their own fans directed at the UK band. This reeks of hypocrisy, and leads me at least to believe this whole situation is born out of jealousy. The UK band’s least popular song on Spotify has almost as many plays as the Australian bands entire catalogue.
Obviously, it goes without saying that those sorts of comments are disgusting and unacceptable. It’s also obvious, that fans of the Australian band would have reacted the exact same way had the roles been reversed. Thing is, this situation didn’t need to happen. There have been plenty of artists using the same names, and while it can be confusing, both artists could easily have coexisted without changing their names, and could definitely at least have had a resolution that didn’t involve attempting to wipe all trace of one band off the face of the earth. While I wholeheartedly support the Australian band’s right to have priority use of the name, the way they’ve handled this situation says more about them than it does the UK band, and it doesn’t say good things.