Kevin Spacey Threatens Musician For Offering Album Called 'Kevinspacey'

from the new-name-is-better-anyway dept

Apparently Kevin Spacey had his lawyers send musician Jason Drake (Cassettes Won't Listen) a cease & desist letter for putting out an album called "Kevinspacey." Apparently, his lawyers say that since Spacey's name is trademarked for use in both music and film, this was trademark infringement. I have to admit, I like how Drake responded. He's retitled the album as "Evinspacey." That may be worth buying just for the name change...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2011 @ 7:35am

    That really conflicts with my new album, "Kevinspace".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2011 @ 7:39am

    The follow-up album is tentatively entitled "Evenspacier".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vincent Clement (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 7:58am

    Mr. Spacey, Jason Drake thanks you for the free publicity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Julian Sanchez, 17 May 2011 @ 8:09am

    Hmm

    Gotta say, after looking at the album art, I'm inclined to side with Spacey on this one... It does actually look apt to confuse buyers. ("Oh look, Kevin Spacey made an album! I think it's called Cassettes Won't Listen?") http://www.cassetteswontlisten.com/preorder/pics/EVINSPACEY.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2011 @ 8:10am

    Does this mean anyone who happens to have the same name will be barred from being a musician or actor because that 'spot' was taken.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Huph, 17 May 2011 @ 8:30am

      Re:

      No, not if it's your real name. This has come up many, many times. If your given name is Kevin Spacey, then you can use it, but you can't assume the name Kevin Spacey.

      Although, I have no idea what the rule of law would be if you first legally changed your name to Kevin Spacey.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Call me Al, 17 May 2011 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      "Does this mean anyone who happens to have the same name will be barred from being a musician or actor because that 'spot' was taken."

      That happens all the time. There are many actors who use a screen name because their actual name is already in use by another actor. For example David Tennant (per wikipedia) "adopted the professional name "Tennant" – inspired by Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, after reading a copy of Smash Hits magazine[11] – because there was another David McDonald already on the books of the Equity union."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Greg G (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 8:38am

      Re:

      No, you can be an actor, but thanks to the SAG, no actor/actress can have the same screen name. At least if you register with the union (SAG), you can't have the same name because you could not be distinguished from the other actor with the same name without descriptions or pictures every time, which would be a pain in the ass.

      As for musicians, I don't think the same thing applies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      David Jones had to change his stagename to David Bowie, because Davy Jones of the Monkees had already made the name famous. I think it was a good change.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 8:20am

    I don't see the problem. There is a big difference between Kevin Spacey and Kevins Pacey... or Kev in space y? Omitting the space (no not Keviny) between his name and surname along with not capitalizing the S makes it a completely different word...or name for that matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2011 @ 8:31am

    Ragging on Kevin Spacey for demanding that a band/guy not sell albums with "Kevinspacey" emblazoned on the cover (with a picture that bears some likelness to the actor) is ridiculous, folks. This is one of those cases where trademark law is doing what it's supposed to do -- protecting customers from confusion about the soruce of something. Look at the cover of the album, and tell me whether you think the average person might be confused about whether it's an album made by the actor Kevin Spacey. (Hint: yes.) It doesn't mean Cassettes Won't Listen is a bad band/guy (they/he are actually quite good), or that CWL needs to be punished or anything. It's just that it's perfectly reasonable for Kevin Spacey to object to the use of his name by someone else, in a confusing manner, to sell that other person's products. Save your umbrage for cases where trademark is being misused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      I'd kind of agree with you except to say "where's the magic line?" It's not like it's an uncommon phenomenon to put someone famous on an album cover... I doubt Warner music asked Charles Hawtrey for example (since he was dead at the time).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        grav (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re:

        I agree here. You've got two artists - Kevin Spacey and CWL, who are both pushing it a little too far, I think. It's tough to draw a line for this, but it's even tougher to leave things subjective. On the one hand, Kevin Spacey could just as easily have said "screw it, it's just a name let him use it" or "call the album whatever you want, just put something on the inside jacket that I had nothing to do with it" (personally I think having the phrase "Kevin Spacey is in no way affiliated with this album" would have been funny/cool if all this legal nonsense had never been brought up as a point). On the other hand you have an artist who very clearly designed album art implying that the album artist is Kevin Spacey - sort of a "push-the-envelope" move to begin with. (As for the picture looking like Kevin Spacey, sorry but that picture could be anyone - there's no definable marks or traits anywhere on it)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 9:02am

      Re:

      Look at the cover of the album, and tell me whether you think the average person might be confused about whether it's an album made by the actor Kevin Spacey. (Hint: yes.)

      If the word Kevinspacey wasn't on the cover I would never have guessed that it is him...if it even is. All you can see is hair, glasses, and a shirt collar...could be anybody.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        David Liu (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re:

        But that's the point. As an average music listener, I would've never thought that CWL in the glasses was the artist name. But I do know the name "Kevin Spacey", and if I see that along the side of the album, I'll immediately associate the CD with his name.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      But song - and by extension album - titles are specifically exempted from the rules - that is why there are many songs called "The Power of Love"

      Kevin Spacey is importing a rule from a domain (acting) where it applies - to one (music titles) where it doesn't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 8:36am

    Name change

    How about "Evilspacey"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ofb2632 (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 8:38am

    a better idea

    They should have called it 'Evinspacey, you can add the K because if we do, we will get sued.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John, 17 May 2011 @ 8:43am

    This how good.

    There would have been someone out there that would have thought Kevin Spacey was involved with the album and purchased it. That is why we have trademarks. This shows no originality in naming their album and probably just wanted the free publicity. I would have never heard of the album if they had named it "Our Album".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 May 2011 @ 8:44am

    Would yecapsnivek be okay?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    chuck, 17 May 2011 @ 9:34am

    Kevin_______y

    "There would have been someone out there that would have thought Kevin Spacey was involved with the album and purchased it. That is why we have trademarks. "

    Boy, the Beatles are in big trouble for Sergeant Peppers then...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stu (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 10:52am

    He better hope that Ryan Adams hasn't patented dropping the first letter of an existing artist's name or he'll be in even more trouble!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    RobShaver (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 11:18am

    It's a publicity stunt ...

    and it worked. We're talking about it aren't we? They wanted that C&D for the publicity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nick Burns (profile), 17 May 2011 @ 11:46am

    Should've renamed it: Kev, in space, see?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Difster, 17 May 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Kay Vin Spacey

    It would have been even better if he changed it to notkevinspacey.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 May 2011 @ 6:12pm

    But I Thought ...

    ... you can’t trademark your own name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    netjeff, 18 May 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Kevin's spacey

    Drake could also have renamed it kevinsspacey

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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