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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38878
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am the leader and founding member of a 60s rock group called

Customer Question

I am the leader and founding member of a '60s rock group called the Standells. I also own the service mark on the name, on file with the U.S. Patent Office. Two members of the group left of their own accord several years ago. Since then, I've have had some success with re-building the group's popularity. One of the former members has been harrassing me in print (mostly on the Internet). I have kept an accurate record of this. He has called me a "thief", "liar" and most recently a "con artist" (in an ad on Craig's List). Last year, he contacted our European agent and also made these same allegations. I have tried to reason with him to no avail. Both former members have appeared on video representing themselves as "original members" of the group, which to my understanding is a violation of the "Truth in Music Act", adopted by California and about 20 other states. How do I proceed on this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.

The California enactment of the Truth in Music Advertising Act (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17537.12), is a criminal law statute. It can only be enforced by a public prosecutor (i.e., Attorney General, District Attorney or City Attorney). It cannot be enforced by a private person.

If you want to enforce your rights under the TIMAA, then you must file a complaint with either your county district attorney or Office of the State Attorney General.

You can also, of course, sue for defamation of character (slander/libel), and you can further sue on a trademark or dillution complaint, assuming that your adversaries are actually marketing a product or service in violation of your trademark.

For a trademark infringement attorney referral, see this link.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
In the 1st paragraph, you stated that the violation of TIMAA must be enforced by a public prosecutor (i.e., Attorney General, District Attorney or City Attorney), yet on the 2nd paragraph, you omitted the city attorney. I live in Palmdale, CA. The two violators live in Van Nuys and Orange County, CA. Can I file the complaint with the city attorney here in Palmdale, or can I file with the LA county district attorney? There is an office in Lancaster which is not to far. Thanks in advance for your answer.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
My apologies. Generally, a city attorney will only act on behalf of the city. Whereas the county DA and State AG are required to act on behalf of the People of the State of California.

Hope this helps.