Simon Cowell’s Record Label Sued Over Hot Boy Band One Direction

Simon Cowell

Below is a news summary by Ashton May, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.

(from Billboard.biz, April 10, 2012) Hot new boy band “One Direction” is becoming wildly popular all over the world, but their stardom and popularity could be changing directions, thanks to a lawsuit against their record label owned by music mogul, Simon Cowell. The band has been popular in the UK for about year thanks to their success on UK’s “X-Factor,” but they are finding that their success in the US could come at a price.

The lawsuit started after the UK boy band was featured on NBC’s “Today Show.” When taking the stage for their performance, the song “2012” accompanied them. This song was the property of the US group “One Direction” and now the UK group is threatened with losing their name. The US band was making music before the UK group, but they are not as popular or signed to a label. Nonetheless, the popular UK “One Direction” could lose its name because of the trademark in existence.

The US band’s attorney maintains that Cowell’s company should have known not to use the name “One Direction” because the label was made aware of the US group after they tried to trademark the “One Direction” name and brand.

Proving confusion will be easy for plaintiffs after the “Today Show” mix up, but proving harm could be a different and more difficult issue. The American group has received more attention since the UK band came on the scene, and their sales have increased, but their comments on their YouTube videos have been less than appealing because fans are confused and not hearing what they expected.

The success of either band may not be jeopardized by a name change, because this is not the first time in the history of bands that name duplication and confusion has been an issue. Bands like Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead changed their names and have had immense success. The lawsuit is still ongoing and the outcome will be interesting to see.