Not really identity theft but more the loss of an identity.
I was perusing the main Eurovision news site www.esctoday.com and was surprised to read a story about one of my favourite Russian singers, Dima Bilan (I mentioned him in my entry on Nordic Euroboypop).
It appears that Viktor Belan (Dima’s real name) has lost the right to use his stage name, Dima Bilan. After a three year court battle, it has been ruled that his name belongs to an agency and he cannot use it anymore although he is well known both in Russia and internationally by that name.
I have never heard of this happening before. With a group’s name, yes but never an individual singer. Even stranger is that his real surname (Belan) is very close to his stage surname so what is the problem? What is this agency going to do with the name? Give it to another singer? How stupid is that?
Viktor still has the right to appeal this crazy decision and I hope he does although I will still like him regardless of whether he is Dima or Viktor.
What next? The Catholic Church suing Madonna over her name?
UPDATE 8 MARCH 2008 – Dima will be performing this weekend at the national final to select this year’s Russian Eurovision entry. He will be singing the song Believing arranged and produced by Timbaland. The good news is that he will be performing as Dima Bilan. His management have stated that despite the court case, he will continue to perform as Dima Bilan. To quote his management “Dima Bilan is Dima Bilan”. [source: www.esctoday.com]
Good luck, Dima.