• The Devil’s in the Details

    by  • April 2, 2010 • trademark

    The Seattle Trademark Lawyer blogs about a newly-filed suit over a dispute about the ownership of the “Angels” name and show content for a Pussycat Dolls tribute band. The complaint says coyly that the defendant Goldberg Entertainment “engaged” the plaintiff Kristen Colliander (um, “employed”?), that the defendant purchased the website “kristencollianeli.com” (Ms. Colliander’s stage name) but that she is the one who promoted her business and performances on it during her “tenure” with Goldberg Entertainment, and that she then “withdrew from her engagement” with Goldberg Entertainment. No paper for the relationship or there wouldn’t be a lawsuit. Unremarkably, the application for copyright registration evidencing Ms. Colliander’s ownership of the show choreography was filed after her “tenure” ended and has an issue date of March 12, 2010, just a few days before the complaint was filed. I suspect the court wouldn’t give it much evidentiary weight.

    My first reaction is, since when are there tribute bands for groups still performing? My second reaction is, how can a copyist own the copyright in the choreography for a tribute band? Isn’t the point that it’s copying the original band as closely as possible? Wouldn’t the Pussycat Dolls actually own the copyright in the choreography?

    Pussycat Dolls here.
    Legal pussycats here.
    Trololo pussycat here.

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