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MODERN DAY BATTLE OF DAVID AND GOLIATH: ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC VS. ACM RECORDS
ACM Records is fighting for its name in a modern day Battle of David and Goliath currently being played out between the small independent record label based in New Jersey and the Academy
of Country Music, which allegedly wants to use the title ACM Records to expand its thriving record business.
Despite the fact that the Academy of Country Music had its trademark application for the title “ACM Fan Jam” rejected because of alleged
copyright confusion with ACM Records’ existing trademark, the organization, which is known for its annual awards show televised on
CBS, has filed a lawsuit against ACM Records in the Federal Court in Los Angeles, California seeking to prevent the well respected indie
music label from continuing to do business under its longtime corporate name.
Founded 20 years ago by Al Cohen and Eve Adams, ACM incorporated in 1991 and registered the company’s name in 2008. On February 21,
2011, the United States Patent Offfice rejected an application by the Academy of Country Music for use of the title, “ACM
Fan Jam,” ruling that the name could easily be confused with the ACM Records trademark. Nonetheless, the Academy of Country Music has continued
to use the title, “ACM Fan Jam,” to promote live music events and in 2011 began to distribute compact discs under the name “ACM ZinePak.”
“We don’t have a problem with the Academy of Country Music using ACM as their abbreviation,” said the co-owners of ACM Records, “but we will not allow them to infringe on our musical territory. If necessary we may seek an injunction to prevent the Academy of Country Music from distributing products that confuse the public as to their source. The Academy needs to practice what many of their artists preach: America is all about fairness for the little guy.”
ACM Records represents hundreds of recording artists from all types of musical genres including rock, folk, country as well as hip hop artists such as MCBEE-X, Shif-T,WarChild, Seven, Minister Kane and the legendary Grandmaster Melle Mel among many others. The label also represents?songwriters, composers and producers that have had tunes placed on major television network stations ranging from NBC, CBS, E!, MTV, Discovery to FX on programs such as “Smash”, “Justified”, “Law and Order”, “Nikita” and “Saturday Night Live” just to name a few, in addition to their artists songs placed in numerous feature films including the smash country hit, “Brokeback Mountain” and the hip hop classic,”Paid In Full” .”