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Legality of continuing a band if everyone else leaves

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by qfbass, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Continue

    20 vote(s)
  2. Discontinue

    13 vote(s)
  1. Based in Australia, but views and experiences from all over are welcome!

    I'm looking for advice on the best way to handle this foreseeable situation of a band breakup:

    We've all agreed to relocate to another city in advance. Suddenly, work and life get in the way (which is fine) and 2 of 4 can't follow through, they have no issue with being replaced by new members in the new city. 1 of 4 is still relocating, but wants the band to disband completely and we start new projects. Is there anything stopping me from continuing the project with the blessing of 2 of 3 other band members, but against the opposition of the other 1? FYI this one person in opposition is the main managerial member of the band, and in a way the face of the band.

    My side is: although I haven't put in as much work as the 1 member who wants to disband I still feel like I've put in a lot of my time and made life decisions based on this band and I don't want the work and progress to be wasted. I don't want to upset them or get on their bad side either, but I would consider continuing it anyway...
    jamro217 likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Do what's best for you.
    StayLow and GTx2 like this.
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Does he legally own the band name or brand? If not, he has no grounds to ask you to start under a different name. Managing the band is one thing. Owning the band is another.
  4. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I would discontinue and start with a clean slate. It is a new city/location and no one should care if you start fresh and this way, you do not have this other old member having bad dreams about you.
    makaspar and Herrick like this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    The vote is 3 to 1 in favor. Tell the dissenter you have majority approval.

    Why doesn't he want to keep the band going?

    Why does he care that you do?

    Why does he think he's in control of the band since he doesn't want to be in it?

    Why does he think that he can control what you do?
    MDBass, jamro217 and DWBass like this.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Does the band have any following in the new location, or is the following through the internet and such enough that you have something to build on? If so, unless you have an agreement that you need unanimous consent to maintain the band, continue it if you want. Lots of bands have replaced lots of musicians. Among other things, it sounds like the dissenter backed out on his word. I'm not from Australia, but I don't see any legal (or ethical) leg for him to lean on.
  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Have you ever earned one red cent in this band? Does this band have a following in the new city? Will anyone (other than the one objector) care if the lineup isn’t the same?

    Did you answer “no” to all of those?
    JRA, BBQisgood and Plectrum72 like this.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    What does the "project" actually consist of that you would be continuing?

    I can imagine two issues here - the band name as a brand, and the songs, if it is an originals project.

    Were you guys well-known enough for the brand to be worth anything? Will you have an easier time getting gigs or selling merch or anything because people recognize the name? If not, I don't see that it matters. You may as well start fresh and not tick off a former bandmate that you may want to work with again later. If the brand does carry weight, I can see wanting to keep using it, but you may have an issue if people don't see the "face of the band" they expect.

    If this was a cover band, then ownership of songs doesn't matter. Continuing the project would just meaning getting new people to cover the same setlist. If it was originals, you have the issue of having rights to the songs. Were you a co-writer of them? We had a thread earlier where there WERE differences in laws from country to country over this issue; in the US, ANY co-owner of a song has an independent right to perform or record it (but all co-owners are owed royalties), whereas it looked like in the UK you needed the agreement of ALL principal co-owners. If you personally don't own the songs, or if the "face of the band" owns them, that's a pretty significant hurdle.
    BBQisgood and Plectrum72 like this.
  9. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    Sounds way too complicated to me. Keep the songs YOU wrote, but otherwise just move along. Life’s too short for this IMHO.
    BBQisgood likes this.
  10. CB3UK


    Jan 13, 2017
    Depends on your following. If you're not well known where you're moving to why not just change the name and make a clean start anyway? Unless you have a large following where y'all currently reside and are going to be heading back there a lot and would risk losing thst crowd by a change, I don't see why it is an issue. If you are much larger up and coming band there, I can see the dilemma and why you want to push the issue.
  11. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    I'm going out on a limb here and suggest the member who is the face of the band is probably trying to align it up as being his band, as in ownership. The rest of the bandmates being contractor status. The old band is likely undefined as to who owns what, so there's some potential legal issues that might crop up if he tries to be the sole owner.

    You need to understand true motives before getting more involved. Then once you get those motives, get a written band agreement as to who owns what, and what are everyone's responsibilities, and how to dissolve in the future.
  12. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    But the OP doesn’t own it either. Start over and save some headaches.
    BBQisgood likes this.
  13. BBQisgood


    Feb 24, 2016
    "This axe has been in my family for five generations. It has only had six new handles and three new heads. "

    --my grandfather
  14. BassUrges


    Mar 14, 2016
    I’m an IP lawyer, but in the US. I could spend an hour just asking you questions to figure out the legalities. Your question involves at a minimum copyright, trademark, contract, and corporate or partnership law.

    My advice to you is: don’t ask for legal advice from bass players. In exchange I promise never to let a judge overrule my groove.
    getbent, 12BitSlab, MordBass and 13 others like this.
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    OP needs to provide more information.
    Herrick, BBQisgood, Nev375 and 2 others like this.
  16. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    ^^ This ^^
  17. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    Wayne Nelson, is that you? ;)
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    My feeling is that in the absence of some sort of legal constraint, the last man standing is still “the band.”

    Whether or not that means anything in your neck of the woods is an entirely different story. Rules and social conventions vary by locale.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  19. Since that one member did the work of getting it together to begin with,
    I think he has earned to band name.
    Also, since you are going to start over in another city,
    you may as well start with a fresh name.
    There is no upside to causing any bad feelings over this.
    Loring likes this.
  20. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    in a new town ,... who's gonna know the difference .?

    was the band name Copywritten by a member ... or Trademark stuff ..?

    those who want to move forward should do whatever they want ..! the others kinda already broke the Agreement by backing out , so they have No say in the situation going forward ..
    Caca de Kick likes this.

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