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Band name battles: legal disputes

By TheStudentGuide
Band name battles: legal disputes

Today, One Direction have been told that they can keep their name following a legal dispute with an American group of the same name.

The US One Direction (or Uncharted Shores as they are now known) filed a lawsuit for more than £600,000 in damages and a share of the X Factor’s star’s profits, following claims that they had been using the name first. Simon Cowell's entertainment company, 'Syco', put in a counter-claim suggesting the US band was trying to make money from the English band’s success, and this won the dispute.

This got us thinking – which other bands have been forced to change their names following legal disputes?


Britpop band Suede shall forever be known as 'The London Suede' in America due to confusion arising from an obscure lounge singer with the same name.

The Verve

Richard Ashcroft’s outfit were originally called Verve (no ‘The’), but stirred up a lawsuit from US jazz label of the same name. Ironically, history seems to be repeating itself as 'The Shining' (the band founded by two former members of The Verve) and a rock group from north-east England who share the same name enter ongoing discussions.


Back in 2003, 70’s Scottish rock band Blue tried to sue hit boy band of the same name for up to £5m, claiming that their own career and reputation was being damaged. They lost and were forced to agreed to a £100,000 legal costs order against them. The agreement was made that the sum would not be enforced so long as they didn’t pursue their complaint by other means.

Liberty X

Liberty X had originally been X-less until early ’90s band ‘Liberty’ took umbrage. The R&B band, who had achieved some success back in the day took the new Liberty to court where they were forced to add the X to the name. Original change then.

Death From Above 1979

Toronto dance-punk duo 'Death From Above' were forced to add the 1979 after a legal dispute with New York label DFA Records. This particular date was chosen to rescue them from the perils of a fine as band member Sebastien Grainger was born in that year and has it tattooed on his arm.

Are there any more we have missed? Let us know below.

Tagged: the verve, one direction, music, liberty x, law, blue

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