Legal battle over ukulele orchestra name

Icelander53

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No one said anything about replacing it. I implied people worship it more than any god. Money is like any tool. It's only good for what it's good for.
 
H

Hippie Dribble

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Agree completely. This is about somebody's livelihood. These people created something unique and special and have every right (and in some cases, a legal obligation) to protect it.

+2
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Ukejenny

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What if I wanted to start Green Man Gang and copy what Blue Man Group does? The UOGB earn their living doing this kind of show - I think the other group is just trying to trade on the UOGB name. I think it is wrong of them to do that. Sure, have a group, and try to make money from it, but don't take away from the group that did it first. The other group is based in Germany, but they are British. I see it as a rip off.
 
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Rllink

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Most of the UOGB music is written by someone else and arranged by UOGB. So they need to get approval from copyright holders to perform most of their act. TUKUO also needs to get approval from the same copyright holders to perform the material. A hypothetical point is to think about the case where the copyright holder is getting a good income from TUKUO maybe better than the income from UOGB, whose side would the copyright holder take, would they care what a UK court rules and would they seek to modify the actions being taken by UOGB?
If you don't produce original material and don't publish your arrangements of other peoples material in a suitable format that preserves your rights, you don't own the rights and you may have little real control over someone who copies what you are doing. Laws are in place to protect rights, but some work is required to set up your intellectual property into a format that is protected by the law. If you don't do the work at the outset, you can expect to need lawyers and litigation and creativity killing enmity to preserve your rights.
I assume there is scope for appeal, and TUKUO are based in Germany, not UK, so the case is not over yet. Another hypothetical is to think about all the satire and comedy acts that basically copy someone else, would the UK court ruling kill off satire and parody in the UK entertainment industry?
What is TUKUO? I guess I got lost along the way.
 

Rllink

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Based on my experience, and I do have some, this case does not hinge on a name, or what they wear, there is much more to it than we read in a couple of four hundred word articles on the web, with just enough information to grab our attention so that the rest of the page can try to sell us stuff. The judge took the issue in its entirety and decided that the one was trying to copy the other. I understand that based on what we have been presented on the surface as media spectators, this all sounds frivolous, but basing an opinion on what little factual information available to us is somewhat reactionary.
 
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Patrick Madsen

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The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO). We saw them last year and thought they were great. It did leave a bit of sourness after finding out they weren't the Original and were based in Germany.

Dang, just change the name and go with your talent; they're good enough to stand on their own name. I have the feeling it's more than the money, there must be some type of in-fighting between the two leaders or?
 

CeeJay

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The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (TUKUO). We saw them last year and thought they were great. It did leave a bit of sourness after finding out they weren't the Original and were based in Germany.

Dang, just change the name and go with your talent; they're good enough to stand on their own name. I have the feeling it's more than the money, there must be some type of in-fighting between the two leaders or?

You see when you put UOGB next to TUKUO you really have to agree with Rlink, there must be more to it than this ....please ...let there be .....

Because for me the reasons cited do not make sense .
 

jimavery

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I just think it's very un-ukulele that this spat came about at all in the first place and even more so that it ended up in the High Court. I wonder if the London Philharmonic and the London Symphony had the same problem way back when? (no don't answer that!)
 

Tootler

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This was a case of "Passing Off" which is what I thought it probably was. This from the Guardian Newspapers, one of our more reputable papers:

Judge Hacon found the German promoter Erwin Clausen was guilty of passing off when he used the name UK Ukulele Orchestra for a band he put together in 2009 because fans might confuse it with the longer established Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

I looked up "Passing Off" to get a more formal definition. This was the most concise:
Making some false representation likely to induce a person to believe that the goods or services are those of another.

Wikipedia has an expanded definition:
In common law countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, passing off is a common law tort which can be used to enforce unregistered trade mark rights. The tort of passing off protects the goodwill of a trader from a misrepresentation.

The law of passing off prevents one trader from misrepresenting goods or services as being the goods and services of another, and also prevents a trader from holding out his or her goods or services as having some association or connection with another when this is not true.

That is essentially what the judge said the UKUO were doing. Of course the UKUO can appeal the decision so it may not be over yet.

I hasten to add that I am not a lawyer and I'm sure someone with formal legal training will be able to give much more detail than I am able.