Just days into the dispute, the issue surrounding the name Future Ghosts is continuing to heat up. Most of this controversy, however, is coming from fans and media. The Chicago based band that is laying claim to the name have experienced a flurry of negative comments on their Facebook page from fans and friends of the North Carolina based band.
In response to a suggestion that they post a statement, someone representing the Chicago bands posted on their Facebook page, “I have a day job, no lie, and it has been stressing me out that I have had no time for any proper defense so far, other than blocking everything (most of it being libel and hate speech). I’m fairly certain there will be people chomping at the bit to cleverly tell me not to quit said day job. That’s great. I am presently preparing a statement, but before it is finished let me first respond to your very sensible statement by saying this is all very weird to me and has played out very unfortunately.”
In another unfortunate event, an LA based band by the name of Future Ghost was also brought into the mix, and, as a result, had their bandcamp page taken down. After hearing of this, Aslan Freeman of the North Carolina based band reached out to them via Facebook, and offered them both information and assistance. ” I just wanted to let you know that I THINK you’ll be in the clear on this. The claim was actually filed against our band by another Future Ghosts in Chicago. They simply marked your bandcamp page as one of several they believe may be infringing on them in their e-mail to bandcamp,” Aslan posted on their Facebook wall. He went on to offer advice on how to proceed in order to get their bandcamp back up and running.
Yesterday, Windy City Rock, a Chicago based music blog, understandably, released a story defending the Chicago based band. ”Followers of Windy City Rock have seen Future Ghosts name quite a bit over the past few years, so I’m not sure where the alleged hiatus came into play. Unless there’s a second band from Chicago called Future Ghosts, not sure who I’ve been seeing live around the city and listening to at home. The worst part about this is how many other blogs have been reposting this email verbatim without checking the facts (sigh…), inciting hateful comments on the Future Ghosts (Chicago) Facebook page. Even a quick glance at Future Ghosts bandcamp page shows releases over the past three years.” They went on to make a positive comment about the North Carolina based band, saying “For their part, the Greensboro Future Ghosts have remained calm and trying to figure out what best to do in this situation.”
In an update posted on the blog a few hours later, Windy City Rock posted statements from both sides of the arguement.
[T]he info was given to me by the band and their management…according to their label/management, when future ghosts in North Carolina started, the Chicago band had no website no Facebook page no music on iTunes nothing online to show they even existed. Chicago’s future ghosts had all social media sites take down the Greensboro bands stuff prior to sending this cease and desist letter. I’m also told that by law since the Greensboro band released music before the trademark was made they have pre-existing rights to the name that cannot be revoked. Chicago band has no right to control the name or take away the rights the Greensboro band has to it.
And from the Future Ghosts camp:
It is truly a travesty that this had to happen. You have two talented bands with the same name, both elevating their status and careers. One with legal right of usage on without. Wouldn’t you think a band preparing for success would have his manager at least take the time in doing due diligence like, protecting your band? However, I don’t see anybody posing as the band name “Rolling Stones” and selling records on iTunes. I also can’t understand why bands post covers of others people’s music on Youtube without permission. It just has a lack of intellectual integrity to me. What is independent and original music supposed to be? Everyone stealing others names? Thoughts and ideas and contrived to their own? Taking credit for others shows and performances on their Facebook page? Is that right? Future Ghosts (Chicago) will never do these things.
Understand, I do not have access to all of the information, only what I have read on the web, but, from The Central Scene’s point of view (and this is purely my own opinion, and does not represent the opinions and beliefs of either band or their management,) the North Carolina based band seems to be handling this incident with more grace and dignity than the Chicago based band. The statement posted above, representing the Chicago band, is laced with accusation and bitterness, attacking both the integrity and creativity of the NC band. This seems in stark contrast to their previously posted statement, “this is all very weird to me and has played out very unfortunately.” Had they chosen a different course of action from the beginning, all of this may have been avoided. Of course, this may be a result of all of the negative comments posted on their Facebook page from supporters of the other band, but then again, the North Carolina based band doesn’t have a Facebook page to post anything on, now do they?
I understand completely the statement from the North Carolina band, “… for it to happen like this feels like betrayal. Not only did the other band make no attempt to work it out with us before asking us to cease and desist, they aggressively pursued the purging of our web presence at the same time. It’s one thing to make a formal request and give someone a chance to either comply or respond, but we were just left scrambling in the few hours we had to make sure people knew what was going on before all the sites went down.”
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