Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A book you should all read

Recently I was given 'Velvet Elvis' by Rob Bell as a birthday present from my sister- I'd already heard good things about it but I wasn't expecting it to be this good!
The guy pretty much sums up my beliefs but in a way that makes sense, and that I don't feel guilty about... it's encouraging to know that a guy who's the pastor of a massive church thinks similarly to me!

Here's an excerpt:

Now before various people start calling Rob and I heathens for denying the virgin birth- we're not. He's simply saying that the virgin birth- along with literal 6 day creation, the factual accuracy of the book of Jonah, and various other doctrines- is not the central point of his faith. Instead his faith is centred around the person of Jesus Christ- learning from his words, emulating his actions, and making the most of life here and now. How exactly Christ came into the world is pretty irrelevant when the impact he can have on a person's life is so massive.
Personally, I think the man is onto something... what do you think?

Excuse the image quality- Google Book Search is quite clever at preventing standard Ctrl+C, but they can't do anything about the 'Print Screen' button!

Note to Google & Rob Bell's publishers- since I'm actually promoting the book, how about overlooking the old copyright laws just this once? ;)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

An amusing email exchange...

Not 12 hours after I set up a myspace homepage for mine and Jeremy's embyonic bluegrass project, I recieved the following email from some band in the uk:


it seems your using our band name...

We registered the band name 'Paper Tigers' with the international band registry in 2003. This is a legal and binding claim to the name and exclusive use of it. Authentication of this is posted in World Wide Band and Artist Directory' Annual Trade Publication as well as on a global scale on the online registry & worldwide database of band and artist name activity. Our registration of the name is also lodged with the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and the British Reference Library in London in the Annual Artist & Band Directory.

If you require any further information on this please go to and search for us or contact Crystal @ bandname

Please cease using the name immediatley to avoid legal action being taken against you. This is a polite but official warning on behalf of us and our record company.


pAPeR TigERs

Being by nature a pigheaded individual, I responded:

Er... when your far-reaching fame extends to Christchurch, NZ, or our plans for world conquest come to fruition, we'll think about it.


To which our new friends rather got their knickers in a knot:

Seems like a a perfectly flawed plan....why start out using a name that you know your going to have to change? hey why not call yourselves the rolling stones...that's a cool name too!.....great sense of seeing the bigger picture, and thinking about changing your name just doesn't cut it, you are falsely advertising your band & causing damage to us in the process ...anyway, we tried to be polite but that obviously has no affect.

Our first full international E.P is scheduled for release in Australia / NZ in December 2006.
We'll be passing this matter on to our label / management and lawyers. I hope you've got deep pockets


pAPeR TigERs

So I thought I'd ask a couple of questions just to see exactly what we were up against:

What exactly do you mean, 'release'? That it'll be available here via your site, or actually in the record stores? In other words, just how big are you guys? Be honest please...
I have no intention of getting into any strife, legally or otherwise- but if we're just playing around Christchurch and you're puddling away in Wolverhampton, I think we can stay out of each other's hair, no?


They came back a little more amicably, but no less emphatically:

Unfortunately 'release' means, in record stores, on itunes & via other authorised internet stores. The fact that you are using our name causes problem for our record sales and as such means you are liable to prosecution...merely search on myspace for paper tigers and the fact you come up is a problem to us.

we are a signed band, contracted to Broken Bottle Music, a UK independent label - soon to be part of the Polydor group....yes we are from Wolverhampton UK, but that is far from the point...I'm sorry about this Greg, its a real pain for you cus it's such a good name and you obviously have great taste in choosing it, but you just can't use it...regardless of whether you are in NZ or not....we have already had legal wranglings with a US artist signed to a major US label who was trying to use the name....and we won...its a black and white case for us...the crazy thing is you can call yourself 'Christchurch Paper Tigers' and that's fine....just not 'paper Tigers'....

Please make your desicion quickly as I am on the phone to our management company as we speak, and need to clarify if you wish to carry on using the name and face the consequences of that action.


All this talk of management, lawyers and labels from a band with only 400-odd myspace friends- not to mention the fact that they apparently considered themselves in the same league as the Rolling Stones- had me smelling a rat (or at least a bluff) and so I responded:

Dear Wolverhampton Paper Tigers,

Having consulted my lawyer, I would like to invite you to consider the following points.

1) In order for one legal entity to prevent another from using their name, it needs to be proven that the prior has obtained 'good will' with the public and that that the latter is unfairly profiting from that good will. Given the respective status and popularity of our respective bands, I do not believe this to be the case.

2) It's also possible to get off if the secondary party can prove that they came up with the name independently, with no knowledge of prior's existence. Again given the above point, I think this is a reasonable claim. We actually got the name from a Thrice song (as, I suspect, did you) but that's beside the point.

3) We, as a legal entity, do not in fact exist outside of Myspace. Notwithstanding the now blurry line between social networking sites and reality, this poses a slight problem for you and your litigious intentions... who exactly are you going to sue? Tom?

Given these points, I can only conclude that your blusterous threats of legal action are nothing but an ambitious bluff; a 'Paper Tiger', if you will. With that in mind we have decided to continue using the name 'Paper Tigers' until such time as we can think of something better. If this still rankles your panties, we would respectfully invite you to change YOUR band name, as suggested above.

Furthermore, I see that our Myspace Friend Count now exceeds yours by a factor of some 80,000 to 1. Dare you argue with figures like that?

Warm regards and best wishes,
Paper Tigers

... to which I'm yet to recieve a reply. Watch this space!