Dima Bilan lost court case over stage name02 March 2008 at 23:52 CET
The court decision, issued on Thursday, says that the rights to the name, stage act amd entire project of Dima Bilan belong to the StarPro agency, and that the singer has no right to use them anymore.
In 2002, Viktor Belan signed a contract with producer Yuri Aizenshpis who was the legal owner of the name, project and stage act of Dima Bilan. After Aizenshpis' death in 2005, the rights were transferred to his legal heirs. Bilan signed a contract with a new producer, Yana Rudkovskaya, but Aizenshpis's heirs claimed that he had no right to perform as Dima Bilan under his new management. The singer on the other hand, claimed that he used the name Dima Bilan before signing with Aizenshpis.
After three years of legal dispute, the popular singer will not be able to perform as Dima Bilan anymore. Belan retains the right to appeal within a month from the court decision. However, it's expected that the singer will either appeal or settle outside the court room, to continue using the commercially valuable name. After all, what is the value of the name Dima Bilan without the face?
The singer will perform in this year's Russian national final, bidding again to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest representing Russia. However, it's unknown which name he will use.