Chili Peppers Red Hot

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers would be the first to agree that “Hollywood sells Californication,” but according to Anthony Kiedis and crew, the band owns exclusive rights to the infamous term. Members of the band have sued Showtime Networks and others over a David Duchovny-starring TV series entitled “Californication,” the same name used for the band’s Grammy-nominated 1999 album. Filed in Los Angeles County court today (11/19), the suit sets out claims under federal trademark and state competition laws.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers would be the first to agree that “Hollywood sells Californication,” but according to Anthony Kiedis and crew, the band owns exclusive rights to the infamous term. Members of the band have sued Showtime Networks and others over a David Duchovny-starring TV series entitled “Californication,” the same name used for the band’s Grammy-nominated 1999 album. Filed in Los Angeles County court today (11/19), the suit sets out claims under federal trademark and state competition laws.

Because the album achieved “extraordinary critical and commercial recognition,” says the band, they have a say in who gets to throw the term around. “For some TV show to come along and steal our identity,” said Kiedis in a statement, “is not right… it is the signature CD, video, and song of the band’s career.” This is not a new conflict for the entertainment scene; in the 1990’s, rock band Living Colour also sued the Fox network (unsuccessfully) on similar claims involving the TV show “In Living Color.”

Defendants in the case include Showtime Networks, Twilight Time Films, Aggressive Mediocrity and Tom Kapinos. Showtime has filed an application to trademark “Californication” as an ongoing TV series, but the rights have not yet been granted. The band wants the series to stop using the name and to turn over any profits that have been earned from its use.

Keep checking back with the American Songwriter newsroom for updates on the RHCP case.


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