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SM’s Red Velvet Runs Into Name Trouble With Indie Band Red Velvet, Agreement Reached

Red Velvet, SM’s first new girl group in two years, has hit controversy ahead of the release of their debut single. It turns out Red Velvet is also the name of an indie band based around Hongik University that started performing in 2013.

Ha Hee Soo, a member of the indie band Red Velvet, posted online, “We released a single last year, performed at Hongik University, and we’re currently preparing for our next album. It took us off guard, hearing that there would be a girl group debuting with the same name.” Ha Hee Soo said, “It’s not like SM wouldn’t have searched the name before they decided to use it,” expressing the band’s disappointment. The band’s digital single “The Day After You Left” was listed on the various music sites.

The band member said, “We’re a powerless indie band. If SM’s girl group debuts, our activities and promotions are going to get difficult. We’ve just now gotten our footing, and we have a lot of affection for our name, too. Please help us keep the name Red Velvet.

Upon confirmation by Dispatch, the band has not gotten their name trademarked, and thus is unable to claim rights to the name. According to patent attorney Hwang Sung Pil, “Even if they are able to apply, if they didn’t do it first, they have no legal claim to the name.

The only thing left is an ethical perspective. A music industry official said, “SM is a major music agency. They won’t fight with an indie band. This kind of thing happens a lot in the music industry, and [in the past] even if there wasn’t any legal claim, they took an ethical stance and the issues were resolved smoothly.

Previously, in 2009, 2NE1 ran into the same issue. At the time, the group was supposed to debut as “21.” However, there was a solo artist who debuted in 2005, also called 21 (To Anyone). YG immediately apologized to the artist, and changed the group name. Yang Hyun Suk said, “We kept the name, but changed the way it was written to ‘2NE1.’ We’ll do our best to keep our activities and promotions from overlapping,” effectively resolving the issue.


[UPDATE] In a later report by Star News, it was revealed that band member Ha Hee Soo met with a representative from SM Entertainment and agreed on just promoting with the same name. Ha Hee Soo said, “We agreed to not bring up issues related to the use of the name ‘Red Velvet’ again.

The band member previously said, “If they had searched the name, it would have come up. It seems like they decided on the name pretty late. We would have appreciated it if they had just looked into it and asked us beforehand for our understanding.

SM also commented on the issue: “We had a meeting with the band Red Velvet and decided to just keep the names as they are. We are now able to continue with Red Velvet’s debut schedule as planned, and we thank the band Red Velvet.

SM’s Red Velvet is set to hold their debut performance on the August 1 broadcast of KBS‘ “Music Bank.”


[Pann: SM's new girl group "Red Velvet"]Pann: SM's new girl group "Red Velvet"

1. [+870, -69] Hello, I'm a member of a band called Red Velvet who released a digital single in 2013 titled "The Day After Break Up". After releasing our single last year, we have been performing around Hongdae while preparing for our next album. I was really surprised to hear that a girl group with the same name as us would be debuting. I doubt that SM didn't check digital sites to see if any other group had the name 'Red Velvet' before naming their group that. We are an indie band with no power and I believe if SM continues with this girl group debut, it will be more difficult for us to continue promoting... We are now only setting our foot forward and we really love our group name. We really hope to promote our team under this name. Please help us.

2. [+206, -23] They all look the same.

3. [+155, -36] I don't think they'll get popular. They're like Ladies Code level? Except Ladies Code has more charms. I'll still look forward to it.

4. [+86, -3] There's already an indie band named Red Velvet. They're a duo group comprised of Kim Yoona and Ha Heesoo... definitely not the same members of SM's new girl group Red Velvet.

5. [+44, -2] Doesn't matter what people think now because it'll only take a bit of time before people are praising them, saying definitely SM.

[Follow Up: Red Velvet]Follow Up: Red Velvet

Article: "Help us"... original Red Velvet clarifies

Source: TV Report via Nate

1. [+1,301, -44] I've heard cases of different group members sharing the same name but not an actual group name. I doubt SM didn't check up on this before naming their group.

2. [+1,121, -40] It's barely been a full year since that group debuted with that name. SM should just change their name.

3. [+948, -35] SM needs to either buy the rights to the name or change their name

4. [+94, -27] This is SM's fault...

5. [+87, -12] The original Red Velvet doesn't get any promotion out of this. The more famous the SM girl group becomes, the more difficult it will be for the indie duo to promote under that name. In Korea, the more popular one becomes the original and the real thing.

6. [+85, -13] Did they just skip over them because they're indie? If not, SM should change their name.

7. [+47, -9] Isn't Red Velvet the name of a cake...

8. [+43, -14] SM should change their name to Blue Velvet

9. [+40, -4] I bet Red Velvet didn't copright the name... Who would look up a name on a music site first? They'd probably search it up on a copyright list... If they didn't copyright it, they don't own the name..;;;

10. [+40, -4] That album was only searchable on Naver since yesterday. Before then, if you searched Red Velvet, their group name and album never came up.

[SM + Red Velvet come to a compromise to use the same name]SM + Red Velvet come to a compromise to use the same name

1. [+1,129, -112] Handled it with money again.. as expected of SM

2. [+865, -99] Let Shinhwa use their name

3. [+712, -85] I expected them to handle it with money ㅋㅋ Well, at least they compensated the band with money.. YG just changed it up a bit and the original 21 name owner got it stolen right in front of him ㅋㅋ

4. [+480, -76] Will a compromise really solve everything

5. [+386, -57] Whatever the case, best of luck to the both of them

6. [+87, -10] That indie band can't say anything else other than "Of course~" to a company as big as SM

7. [+78, -4] Well, they took this opportunity to raise recognition for a band named Red Velvet ㅋㅋ and I looked up their songs and they sounded good so who knows if they do well after this.. ㅋ

8. [+72, -13] Not like the indie band had any right to complain when they didn't register the name either...

source: soompi|naver|netizenbuzz (1, 2, 3)
Tags: red velvet, sm entertainment
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