08 November 2011

‘Little Mix’ up over X-Factor band

Rhythmix, a girl group currently competing in The X Factor, announced last week that it had changed its name to Little Mix after a "threat of legal action" from a charity with an identical name.

For 12 years, a charity calling itself Rhythmix has been providing music workshops for disadvantaged children. The charity was worried that the existence of a band with exactly the same name could affect their work and according to the BBC accused the X Factor show of not having considered "any of the moral implications of their actions" when selecting the band name.

 The charity’s UK trade mark registration for the name Rhythmix in fact only covers “education" in class 41. However, the charity's website reveals that Rhythmix is "one of the UK’s leading music charities, delivering a large range of music making opportunities for young people”.

Bosses at the Brighton educational charity urged show supremo Simon Cowell to sanction the change. It hired lawyers and wrote an open letter to Mr Cowell asking him to intervene after the mix-up was revealed. It said its work with 40,000 young people over the past 12 years was being put "at risk" by the band's name.

The charity’s director has now welcomed the decision to rename the band, since this will help the charity maintain its profile. And the whole fuss has undoubtedly generated some extra publicity for everyone involved.

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