Queens, NY asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Trademark for New York

Q: An established comedian made a web series with a name I've been using to DJ for years. Do I need to change it?

I've been operating as a DJ under a certain name since 2016. I'm small-time, but have been paid to perform and have social media profiles registered under my performance name that have been in use since 2016, although I have never registered a trademark or anything.

Today, I found out an established comedian created a web series under the same name in 2019. The series was published online by Comedy Central.

I have no desire to sue anybody, but I'm curious as to whether this means I need to change my performance name, legally-speaking. I was using it first, and can prove it...but I am also a broke artist, not Viacom, so I wouldn't have the resources to put up much of a legal fight if they were to pursue one.

Thank you in advance for any insight.

1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
Answered
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: Depends on how long you have been using it and if they started using it before you or after.

You may have common law rights.

You should contact an attorney to understand your rights better.

At best you could continue using the name unless they contact you in which case you need to make a decision.

This should not be construed as legal advise.

Best luck

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