Reader Pier asks a common question regarding that most important decision of any DJ: Choosing a good DJ name. He says: “How does one protect their DJ name or register it? Not just in the country where you happen to live (I live in Australia, for instance) but worldwide? I notice there is some confusion here with The Shapeshifters – the UK Shapeshifters, NZ group Shapeshifter and there’s a US one too!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Well the first thing is to choose a name you’re pretty sure nobody else is using as a DJ. Do some Googling to ensure you’re calling yourself something original. The second thing is to buy the .com for your DJ name – the .com is really important, and if somebody else has it I’d strongly recommend looking for a different DJ name, if you’re serious about succeeding as a DJ. The third thing is to ensure you can get your name on all the social networks that matter to you – which will mean Facebook and Twitter at a minimum. Take a look at http://namechk.com, a free service that can check whether your chosen name is available on dozens of social networks for you. With Twitter you can bag www.twitter.com/yourname immediately; with Facebook Pages you need 25 fans before getting a so-called vanity URL.
Regarding the legal position, I frankly don’t think it matters once you’ve done all the above, as long as you can prove you were using a name first; the old way was to mail a signed letter stating that you are using that name to yourself, registered and sealed; then in the case of any dispute, you can prove it that way. However just just getting online and using your name is probably enough nowadays.
If you see anyone using your name a polite mail requesting to stop doing so is your first port of call; legal wrangling can get expensive and difficult, especially across borders. If you dominate the online version of your name though, you’re putting up big barriers for anyone else who may want that name.
Do you know more about the legalities of this? How is it where you live? Have you or anyone you know come across similar problems? Please help out by letting us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.