November 07, 2004
The Postal Service Presents...The Postal Service
Postal Service Tale: Indie Rock, Snail Mail and Trademark Law [NYT] [Bugmenot] I really, really like Give Up, the album from The Postal Service. (Thanks, mrw, for introducing me.) It didn't occur to me that this name is trademarked by the US Postal Service - the folks who deliver our snail mail. Didn't occur to the band, either. They received a polite cease-and-desist letter, but a deal was worked out. From the article:
The outcome was as unusual as the band itself: this week the United States Postal Service - the real one, as in stamps and letters - signed an agreement with Sub Pop [the band's record company] granting a free license to use the name in exchange for working to promote using the mail. Future copies of the album and the group's follow-up work will have a notice about the trademark, while the federal Postal Service will sell the band's CD's on its Web site, potentially earning a profit. The band may do some television commercials for the post office.
The group also agreed to perform at the postmaster general's annual National Executive Conference in Washington on Nov. 17. The attendees might not realize what a rare treat they are in for since the Postal Service does not play many gigs. Mr. [Jimmy] Tamborello and Mr. [Ben] Gibbard are busy with their regular bands: Dntel, with its atmospheric electronic dance music, and Death Cab for Cutie, which has become a college rock favorite for its heartfelt, jangly punk rock known as emo.
I love creative, amicable legal solutions. No, really. I think this result is awesome. So - can anyone hook me up with a ticket for the show? ;)