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protecting your use of a pen name

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GUEST 19 Jul 02 - 10:05 AM
MMario 19 Jul 02 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Sonja 19 Jul 02 - 10:27 AM
MMario 19 Jul 02 - 10:33 AM
hesperis 19 Jul 02 - 12:10 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 Jul 02 - 03:33 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM
greg stephens 19 Jul 02 - 07:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jul 02 - 07:36 PM
Genie 20 Jul 02 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 20 Jul 02 - 02:18 PM
Genie 20 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM
Celtic Soul 21 Jul 02 - 10:12 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM
pavane 13 Jan 09 - 09:22 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Jan 09 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,Eric 22 Apr 09 - 03:20 PM
Genie 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 PM
Genie 15 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM
Genie 15 Oct 10 - 04:09 PM
Jack Campin 15 Oct 10 - 07:24 PM
Mr Red 16 Oct 10 - 06:17 AM
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Subject: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:05 AM

Is it okay to register a copyright with a stage name rather than one's actual name, or is this dangerous?


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:20 AM

registering copyright is to safegaurd ownership of the rights to the work. If you register under a stage name - then in addition to proving your copyright registration in case of dispute you also have to prove your identity. I would say safer to copyright under your own legal name.

On the other hand - if you are incoperated you could copyright under the business name.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: GUEST,Sonja
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:27 AM

Instead of incorporating, is it sufficient to register the stage name as a "DBA" or LLC?

SWO


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 10:33 AM

I'd say you should check a legal opinion on that.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: hesperis
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 12:10 PM

DBA is the same as registering as a business, in Canada at least. You just register as a sole proprietorship, and you do have to go through a lot of tax hassle. (Reports on taxable income every quarter, etc.)


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 03:33 PM

With the film "Spider Man" just out, in the original story (I haven't seen the film) he tries to cash in on his powers as a wrestler, but the organiser makes the cheque out to "Spider Man" (as he won't give his name,) and he is unable to cash it.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 06:26 PM

Another good reason to not register a copyright under a stage name is that, in the event you ever become famous, you would be depriving future generations of perfectly good Trivial Pursuit questions!

Like, "These are the names under which their copyrights were issued. Who are they better known as?".

a) Chester Burnett
b) McKinley Morganfield
c) Ellis McDaniel

yelddiD oB (c sretaW ydduM (b floW 'nilwoH (a SREWSNA

Of course, all Mudcatters know these without having to look at the answers. *G* Bruce


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 07:13 PM

Nanker Phelge? (sorry, dont know how to write answer backwards but I expect everyone knows anyway).


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 07:36 PM

I think the law on copyright may be a bit different in the USA and the UK.

As I understand, in the UK, if you write something, you've got the copyright, regardless of any process of registering it.

But if money comes into the picture, at some time you are likely to have to prove that you wrote it, and that therefore you own the copyright, and there are various ways of doing this.

The simplest way is to send it to someone (such as yourself) in a properly sealed envelope by recorded delivery; and then put it somewhere safe, unopened until at some time you might have to prove you wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Genie
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 04:46 AM

I imagine that writers who use a nom de plume usually do not want the book, song, poem, etc. to say "©" with their real name by it. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a nom de plume. I guess incorporating under the pen name works, but that's kind of expensive--a lot more than an LLC is, I think.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 02:18 PM

Last time I read Nimmer (the US copyright "Bible") it was unquestioned law that a pseudonym suffices - so long as it is sufficient notice of the identity of the copyright claimant -a bit like "Prince" really!


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Genie
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 06:49 PM

BTW, as to cashing checks, it's been demonstrated that you can sign pretty much any name on the back of a check and deposit it into your account and it will go through. Everything's so automated and rapid that even checks stamped "VOID" in big letters have gone through.

I used to send off for product rebates in my cats' names, and I cashed (i.e., deposited) those checks. Didn't matter whether I wrote my own name or the cat's name on the back of the check or both.

If the check were for a large amount, though, you might have more trouble cashing it if the face name didn't match the endorsement signature.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 21 Jul 02 - 10:12 AM

McGrath, that's something you can do here in the States as well. I believe it's called a "Poor Mans Copyright".

When dealing with a band name, and not a name that appears as an individuals "AKA", I would think it a lot easier. My band has a bank account in it's name. We receive checks in that name. If we had to prove our case that we existed as "The Pyrates Royale", we could produce bank statements for the last 12 years without having to prove incorporation (which, we are not) or copyright (though we are).

However, most individuals will have a hard time opening a bank account in another *individuals* name unless they can produce some ID in that name. With identity fraud being the rampant problem it is, most financial institutions are very cautious about this sort of thing.

I would think that getting some legal advice (as Mmario said) for the area in which you live (as these things will not be the same from place to place) will be the best idea.

As for the Spiderman thing, Nigel... Wow! I remember that as well. The movie was different, however. I think that the original premise was much more clever, though.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 08:57 AM

can someone steal your stage name
    Speaking of identities, please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: pavane
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 09:22 AM

Yes. You have no more legal right to it than anyone else, unless it is registered in some way.

And if you register things in the name of a company, you had better be sure you will never sell or lose it.

In the UK, unless you keep up the annual registration and pay the fee (and also file annual accounts even if not trading - yet more costs), the company can be struck off, and I BELIEVE that someone else could then reuse the same name. (Would need to check this with Companies House).


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM

You could seek a trademark - or you could rely on the somewhat unruly law of passing off. As to company names Pavane is right.


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Jan 09 - 07:42 PM

LLC is just another form of corporation, so that would work.

DBA, however, isn't going to do the trick, because (say your name is Jack Schwank) you need to put on there, "Jack Schwank, d/b/a (or doing business as) Schwanky Bob."    That doesn't give you any privacy at all, because you need to state the real name in the course of claiming copyright ownership in the name of Schwanky Bob.   

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 03:20 PM

Well has the "Poor Mans Copyright" ever failed us in the states? I have no problem with Copyrighting my music. But copyrighting your stage name is a bundle. That is so much excess money to pay for the registration of a stage name it's shows how greedy the United States Actually is. This is insanity.


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Subject: protecting one's use of a pen name
From: Genie
Date: 14 Oct 10 - 03:26 PM

LLC used to be a fairly cheap way of incorporating in my state, Oregon. But we just passed a law - aimed at keeping the "big guys" from totally avoiding corporate taxes via loopholes, but snaring a lot of us little folks in its net - to change the minimum annual fee for a corporation, including an LLC, from $10 to $150. That can be a bit of an owwie for those of us who earn peanuts most years from our home-based businesses (e.g., from our musical and literary compositions).


BTW, here's what the US Copyright Office currently says about registering copyrights under pseudonyms:

[[pseudonyms        fl-101

An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nick­ names and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Like other names, pseudonyms are not protected by copyright.
If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office's records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check "pseudonymous" on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office's records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application.

You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author's name is given, it will become part of the Office's online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.
Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author's identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author's life plus 70 years.

Sincerely yours, Register of Copyrights]]


So you can't protect your nom de plume or your stage name via the US Copyright office, but you can register your works under the pseudonym in such a way that people will not know the real identity of, say, the "Mousethief" or "Crane Driver" who wrote the song unless they bother to look it up via the Copyright office.    Lots of performers use stage names which anyone could, but most don't, bother to trace to their real names.

In my case, certain of my songs were actually conceived by my imaginary playmate and sometime muse, whose name I want registered as their author.   I have no desire to prevent people from knowing that she is my own imaginary playmate (i.e., to trace the song back to me), but I do separate her songs (which are either satire, country, bawdy, or just plain silly) from "mine" (which include very serious and sometimes spiritual lyrics).   

My concern with the "protection" of that alter-ego name is not copyright protection. It's a two- or three-fold concern about being prevented from using the name myself if someone else should "claim" that name via Trademark, via domain name ownership, or via something like SAG or AFTRA.

I guess you can apply for such Trademark protection or, if you're a member of a recording artists' union, you can register the name, but I think that's pretty expensive and may not even be an avenue open to most of us peons.

Anyone have any insights or expertise about this?


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Subject: Registering copyright with a stage name
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:06 PM

This is a continuation of the discussion in this thread:
Registering copyright with a stage name

That thread was closed due to "SPAMbots" hijacking it.   Please read the previous discussion and then continue it here.
(I hope maybe at some point these two threads can be merged as an open thread.

Genie
    Threads combined. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: protecting your use of a pen name
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 04:09 PM

Here's the last post from that thread (before the SPAMbots took over). It's about my main concerns re protecting one's right to use a chosen nom de plume or stage name.

-----------



BTW, here's what the US Copyright Office currently says about registering copyrights under pseudonyms:

[[pseudonyms       fl-101

An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nick names and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Like other names, pseudonyms are not protected by copyright.
If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office's records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check "pseudonymous" on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office's records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application.

You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author's name is given, it will become part of the Office's online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.
Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author's identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author's life plus 70 years.

Sincerely yours, Register of Copyrights]]


So you can't protect your nom de plume or your stage name via the US Copyright office, but you can register your works under the pseudonym in such a way that people will not know the real identity of, say, the "Mousethief" or "Crane Driver" who wrote the song unless they bother to look it up via the Copyright office.    Lots of performers use stage names which anyone could, but most don't, bother to trace to their real names.

In my case, certain of my songs were actually conceived by my imaginary playmate and sometime muse, whose name I want registered as their author.   I have no desire to prevent people from knowing that she is my own imaginary playmate (i.e., to trace the song back to me), but I do separate her songs (which are either satire, country, bawdy, or just plain silly) from "mine" (which include very serious and sometimes spiritual lyrics).   

My concern with the "protection" of that alter-ego name is not copyright protection. It's a two- or three-fold concern about being prevented from using the name myself if someone else should "claim" that name via Trademark, via domain name ownership, or via something like SAG or AFTRA.

I guess you can apply for such Trademark protection or, if you're a member of a recording artists' union, you can register the name, but I think that's pretty expensive and may not even be an avenue open to most of us peons.

Anyone have any insights or expertise about this?


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Subject: RE: protecting your use of a pen name
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:24 PM

Tom Wolfe might have had something to say about that if he hadn't been dead for 25 years before Tom Wolfe
started writing.


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Subject: RE: protecting your use of a pen name
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Oct 10 - 06:17 AM

Well I am not sure I could if I wanted to. What with having seen a few Mr Red's swanning around Folk Festivals, and the retired mascot of Cincinnati Reds (I have the baseball cap).

FWIW I often tell of Mr & Mrs Red of Alcester (UK) who I followed all along they High St until the turned and opened their front door. A nice Oak-beamed terraced cottage it is too.
However, not only did they studiously refuse to turn and smile or even look at me, despite the fact that they knew I was there. But then, I have heard of their appearance at a session where they sat glum-faced all night barely talking to each other let alone to anyone else.

Sadly, some of the Mr Reds of this world are what normal people like me (who spoke?) call sad. Maybe they think they have the copy but not the right.


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