Hello. I am in California, and received a message yesterday from the UK (if Facebook is to be believed). The sender effectively asked me to stop using the stage name under which I record music with the vague threat of legal action.
I've changed the names slightly, but I record music under the faux-band name "Tommy Atomic and the Fallouts." The band name itself is a bit odd, because I position it as a full band of people, but those people are all fictitious characters. So, in the credits for the music, it lists a number of characters names, and the primary name listed there is "Tommy Atomic." However, Tommy Atomic is not a real person; I am the only person "in" the band, and I clarify on the band's page that all the music is actually written and performed by "[my real name]". I know this is odd, but it has a purpose within the context of the band.
The important takeaway is that the band name is "Tommy Atomic and the Fallouts," "Tommy Atomic" is listed as the leader of the band, and elsewhere in the credits it clarifies that all music is actually written and performed by "[my real name]". Additionally, I've not registered any trademarks associated with my band or the stage name.
Yesterday I received a message from a guy on Facebook named "Tom W. Atomic" who claimed his fans have been asking if my project is a new project of his. He suggested he'd been using the "Tommy Atomic" stage name since the 90s, and asked if we could resolve this in "good faith". I don't know what "good faith" means to him, and I've not responded yet. It took a long time to find him, as simply google searching "Tommy Atomic" returns almost exclusively my project and then a bit about some OTHER musician with a similar stage name, yet nothing about this particular guy from whom I received the message. Eventually, I found his band, a fairly inactive punk band that's been around since at least 2001 called "The Something-or-others". In the credits to music posted by The Something-or-others, he is credited as "Tommy Wolfgang Atomic". I cannot find a single place where he records under "Tommy Atomic"; it's always under "Tommy Wolfgang Atomic". And again, I'm in the United States and he's in the UK.
So, do I actually need to care about this guy's threat? I'm happy to help clarify with his fans that the project is unaffiliated with Tommy Wolfgang Atomic and The Something-or-others, but the band names are completely different, the stage names are somewhat (but ultimately) different, and we're operating on different continents.
Thank you in advance for anybody who has any thoughts!