5th May 13:50
Christian Country Music Association responds to CMA Lawsuit
The Christian Country Music Association, d/b/a CCMA Responds to the Lawsuit Of
September 2002 Brought by the Country Music Association, the CMA
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Gene Higgins, President and
Founder of Christian Country Music Association (CCMA) released the following:
The Christian Country Music Association has tried to avoid making this legal
assault against the CCMA public, in hopes that the CMA would reconsider their
attitude and posture concerning this matter. That has not happened, and
because of several public statements made to the news media and statements made
in the CMA's publication "Close-Up," the Christian Country Music Association
now feels it is necessary to make the public aware of "the rest of the story."
The Country Music Association (CMA) has filed suit against the Christian
Country Music Association (CCMA) to prevent them from using their trademark
CCMA and their web address, http://www.ccma.cc.
In their suit, the CMA claims that the public is confused as to which
organization or association they are contacting when attempting to do business
with either group because the Christian Country Music Association uses their
own Trademark of "CCMA" to refer to itself and their annual award show. The
CMA contends that the use of the Trademark "CCMA" on the web sight will somehow
divert the user to the Christian Country Music Association if they are actually
attempting to view the "Country Music Association's" site, which is
The CCMA contends that it would be difficult for someone to type in
http://www.cmaworld.com and somehow reach http://www.ccma.cc. The CCMA also contends that
the use of the Trademarks "CCMA" since 1992 has not caused any confusion that
they are aware of, nor has the Country Music Association, since their use of
the marks or acronym "CMA" shown any instance in which someone contacted the
Christian association in an attempt to reach the secular Country association.
The CCMA feels it has the legal right to use the acronym that represents the
name of the association since the marks have been trademarked since 1992.
There are several associations and organizations that use the marks, "CCMA" and
the CMA have not, to our knowledge, filed suit against any of these businesses
to prevent them from using the same marks. The "Christian Music Association"
uses the exact same marks (CMA) as the Country Music Association and yet we
know of no complaint or suit filed against this organization to prevent them
from using that acronym that represents their organization.
The Canadian Country Music Association and the California Country Music
Association both use CCMA as marks to identify themselves. Yet, to the best of
our knowledge, we know of no complaints or lawsuits directed at these two
service associations that promote the same genre of music as that of the
Country Music Association. The Christian Country Music Association feels that
the CMA must approach these organizations with the same complaint to justify
the legal attack on the Christian Country Music Association. Both of these
organizations use the marks CCMA on their web site.
The term Christian is what differentiates the Christian Country Music
Association from the Country Music Association. The CCMA promotes Christian
music and the CCMA Award Show recognizes artists whose music reflects Christian
Another accusation made by the Country Music Association was printed in the
March/April "Close-Up" magazine article by Ed Benson, Executive Director, which
states, "'Confusion is accentuated by the fact that the Christian Country Music
Association Awards occur in Nashville each year on a date contiguous to the CMA
Mr. Benson, the CCMA Award Show has aired in the month of November since 1994.
The only CCMA Award Show that has not aired in November was the first show that
aired in August of 1993. In the Press Release dated Feb. 13, 2001 Ed Benson
explains the reason the CMA Awards were moved to the month of November, "'We're
excited about moving into the beginning of November sweeps.'" He continues,
"'Positioning the Awards in this critical ratings period for CBS affiliates
should further enhance their support of promotional involvement with the
telecast. There is also strong support for the move and consensus among the
key segments of our industry, who all feel the Awards being closer to the prime
retail record buying season will have much more impact on the marketplace.'"
The same press release explains, "'In 2000, the Awards were moved to October
when the main season premiere week was delayed due to the 2000 Olympics in
Sydney.'" So we see that the CMA Awards aired in September until 2000 when
they were forced to air in October.
In the Feb. 5, 2002 CMA Press Release Ed Benson again explains the success of
the CMA Awards since they moved to the month of November, "'The Awards were a
success on so many levels -- with widespread acclaim for the depth and
diversity of performers in the media, to the ratings windfall and the response
at the retail level.'" Ed Benson continues, "'We have found a high-impact
placement for Country Music's Biggest Night.'"
Mr. Benson publicly accused the Christian Country Music Association of somehow
positioning their award show near the time that the CMA Awards air. And yet it
is the CMA Awards that moved from September, to October and finally to
November. Who made the moves? What were the motives on which those moves were
based? In their own words, the move to November by the CMA meant higher
ratings for the network, more sales of music and they found a high-impact
placement for their show, which translates to dollars.
The Christian Country Music Association did not lodge a complaint when the CMA
Awards where scheduled the night after the CCMA Award Show in 2001 nor when
they were scheduled the night before in 2002. Nor did retaliate in 2002 when
the CMA sought an injunction a few days before the CCMA Award Show was to air
to prevent the broadcast of our show and served us with a lawsuit. We
figuratively "turned the other cheek" hoping that this giant of an association
would be satisfied in moving in to the same week as the CCMA Awards have
traditionally aired. But the CMA has not been satisfied with moving in to the
sweeps week and sharing that time slot, they seem to want it to themselves. The
CCMA feels that there is a place for both genres of music and that those that
strive to include words of faith, family or country in their music deserve to
be acknowledged when the lyrics of a song qualifies the song to cross over into
the Christian Country market.
There are other untrue allegations in the lawsuit that we intend to defend. It
is not our purpose here to say anything that would in anyway, discredit the
Country Music Association, with whom we have been on good terms with for so
many years and in which Gene Higgins, President and founder of the CCMA is a
Member in good standing and has been since 1994. Many of those associated with
the CMA are good friends of Gene Higgins. It is our purpose to simply let the
public know that the allegations made by Ed Benson are unfounded and that we
wish to work in harmony with the Country Music Association and not let false
accusations create a division in the industry among artist, fans and other
members of the industry.
Please refer to our web page http://www.ccma.cc, for more detailed information on the
CMA verses the CCMA.
Contact: Gene Higgins, CCMA (615) 742-9210 ext. 22 for more information.
SOURCE Christian Country Music Association
CO: Christian Country Music Association; Country Music Association
2 Western Fiddle albums
Howard Kalish What the Hay http://www.howardkalishmusic.com/
Bobby Flores Just For the Record http://www.bobbyflores.com/
5th May 13:50
Christian Country Music Association responds to CMA Lawsuit
what i can't figure out is why the cma is upset now when the canadian
country music association (CCMA) should be