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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11554
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I started a tribute band QEII over 20 years ago and over

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Hi
I started a tribute band QEII over 20 years ago and over the years the original members have dropped out or been replaced.
We were a Partnership until about 3 years ago when we replaced the bass player with Alan Wallbanks - who never joined the partnership and I'm sure didn't declare his tax either.
The singer that we had left and was replaced with another who also didn't join the partnership.
The only other existing member who was in the partnership has expressed a desire to leave also due to commitments.
That leaves me, a new drummer (John Holden), bass player (Alan Wallbanks) and transient musicians as QEII.
QEII is my group, I own the domain names qeii.net, qeii.co.uk, qeii.uk, qeii.band, qe11.co.uk and queentribute.biz which have some considerable value outside of the tribute band.
I received a letter from Alan and john (Below) - please advise
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Date: Tuesday the 17th of March 2015
Dear Phil,
As you are probably aware, it has become very difficult lately from an administrative point of view, to meet the needs and secure work from agents and promoters alike. It’s a constant battle checking each and every offer and opportunity of work with individual members - for both their approval and availability. Agents just want a simple yes or no at the time of contact and there have been lost opportunities and many frustrating conversations with them as to why we are unable to deliver. This situation is now untenable and with competition high, there is a limit to the number of times they will offer work under such conditions. Acting on feedback from agents, we consider that we are now at a tipping point where prestigious offers of work could dry up altogether if all members of the band are not available on a fully professional footing.
With the announcement of Steve’s coming departure and Justin now only available for ‘Flash’ gigs, there is an opportunity for QEII to transform itself and become a full time professional production.
Given our own personal circumstances and the luxury we both have of being able to indulge ourselves completely in the group, it’s our wish and intention to move this forward on a full-time professional basis, allowing us complete freedom in accepting and fulfilling any and all work that’s made available. Therefore and from this date forward we will now be working alongside others of a similar circumstance.
We do hope that this decision won’t put an end to either our continued friendship nor the possibility of us maybe working together in the future, something of which we would like to explore at a later stage.
Please also note, this decision to change direction of the group is certainly nothing to do with either your commitment shown or musical abilities on a personal level. It is simply being taken to allow us complete flexibility in the work we are able to chase and secure, some of which will be involving long distances and possibility some semi-residential work, all of which at this current time and in our current format we would not be able to accept.
We would however, despite immediate feelings and as previously mentioned, like to keep all doors and communication channels open and would like to think that as the workload increases, opportunities may arise where we can maybe once again call upon your musical services and abilities to fulfil any future opportunity.
We are, however, sorry for the nature of this letter and still more than happy to meet with you to discuss the situation and the possibilities of future collaborations. With social media being what it is and the obvious nature of requests for meetings outside the parameters of the group, we felt it was more personal and gave us an opportunity to explain fully and honestly our intentions and hopefully gives all parties time to evaluate the situation truthfully and respectfully, ***** ***** now to move forward in our own separate ways.
John Holden
Alan Wallbanks
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Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor with an interest in media, intellectual property and entertainment law.
From what you say, your legal status is now that of sole trader.
You can't stop these two from leaving to set up their own Queen tribute band unless there is a written agreement with restraint clauses. You can stop them using the name QEII and passing off your act. Nor can they use any domain names that would easily denote your business.
You haven't asked any specific questions in your narrative and I am happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

I suppose my question is: How do I stop them from using QEII - or how do I get recompense if they do?

Would I need a solicitor's letter or similar to send to them

Also - The band has always been based on a 28 day notice period if leaving (although not contracted). Would I be able to claim for work lost in this period with the assistance of previous members if necessary?

Best regards

Phil

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
In the first instance you would have a solicitor issue a cease and desist letter demanding that they stop using the name. If they don't then your remedy is to go to court to stop them and claim damages.
As regards ***** ***** period, you would have to prove at least a verbal agreement with the actual defaulting members to have any success with that.
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