“Rogue Worship Leader,” who recently had his Facebook account suspended due to a trademark infringement over the term “worship leader,” has had his account restored—but the dispute between accounts like his and Worship Leader magazine is ongoing. Now, one of the accounts involved, “Worship Probs” (formerly “Worship Leader Probs”), is speaking out.
‘Worship Leader’ Trademark Dispute Continues
As ChurchLeaders reported a little over a week ago, many were shocked when the worship director behind “Rogue Worship Leader” announced that his Facebook account had been suspended and that the reason was he had been reported for a trademark violation for using the term “worship leader.”
The account that had reported at least eight of Rogue Worship Leader’s posts for a trademark infringement is Authentic Media LLC, which is an umbrella company for several brands, including Worship Leader magazine. While Worship Leader resources worship leaders with articles, podcasts, classes and coaching, Rogue Worship Leader posts worship leader memes, often from the Star Wars franchise.
“The company Worship Leader is essentially reporting me for violating trademark laws because I have the term, ‘worship leader,’ in my name,” said Rogue Worship Leader. “How crazy is that?” In a follow-up video, he called for Authentic Media LLC to “cancel or amend” its trademark, saying:
Today I stand and hopefully speak for a large part of the worship community that is outraged by this. A worship leader is not a company. It’s not a corporation. That is a title given to those who week in and week out are responsible for ushering the bride of Christ into his presence to worship him in Spirit and in truth.
A petition calling for Authentic Media to change or amend its trademark has garnered over 10,300 signatures as of this writing. Other meme accounts, such as Memes for Jesus and Pastor Humor have voiced their support for Rogue Worship Leader. “The internet is MAD 😂😂😂 but are not here to be a mob,” said the creator of Epic Christian Memes. “We are not here to just make noise or make drama. We are here to help the little guy and those who long to equip worship leaders. Sign the petition in my bio to bring some change.”
Since this news gained traction online, Worship Leader has removed a June 2022 article on its site explaining the reason why it had trademarked the term, “worship leader.” On March 23, the company posted an article on the controversy, titled, “Worship Leader’s Trademark Dispute Statement.” The post, credited to Worship Leader’s editorial team and updated March 25, addresses “misinformation,” “sensationalized controversy” and “click-bait fodder.”
According to the editors, Worship Leader had been communicating with “one company” about that company’s logo and brand being similar to Worship Leader’s. When that company “went silent,” Worship Leader “issued a trademark form with Facebook which resulted in seven accounts being taken down.”
“We admit this was an emotional reaction to a very real issue,” say the editors. “It was not coordinated with our legal representation, and the result was the unintentional shutting down of several unrelated accounts. We worked quickly to see these profiles restored, making direct requests to the social providers for the same. We are sincerely sorry that any of our actions around this situation created confusion, disappointment, and disunity.”
The editors write that their trademark does not pertain to the title “worship leader” generally speaking, but rather “relates to business activities in a few specific categories.” They also state that Worship Leader did not file for a trademark in 2016, but that its trademark dates back to 1992. Worship Leader has no plans to retract its trademark.