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Chili Peppers to Showtime: "Hey, that's our dirty word!"

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are bringing a lawsuit against Showtime Networks and others behind the program "Californication," claiming the show unfairly takes its title from the Chili Peppers' 1999 album and song of the same name. In the suit, filed today (November 19) in Los Angeles, lead singer Anthony Kieidis states that, "Californication is the signature CD, video, and song of the band's career." (Odd, I would think that would be Blood Sugar Sex Magic and any number of songs and their attendant videos off of it, but that's just me.) Kiedis argues, "For some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right." For more on the brouhaha, follow on after the jump...
It appears that the Chili Peppers never trademarked the word "Californication" back when they released the album. Showtime has filed to trademark the word as the name of the ongoing series, which stars David Duchovny as a struggling Los Angeles writer who tries to solve all his life's problems by bedding every woman around. But Showtime's request hasn't been granted yet.
Both sides seem to be to blame here. The Chili Peppers trying to retroactively trademark the word seems backwards, and the band demanding that all revenue the show has produced be turned over seems a bit much. But it does seem wrong that the producers of the show didn't even talk to the band before launching "Californication." Couldn't they have worked out an agreement where the band could've done the show's music or starred in guest spots?
Red Hot Chili Peppers Sue Showtime (Billboard)
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Red Hot Chili Peppers

This suit sounds pretty weak. Legally you can't copyright a title, so they're using a little creative lawyering and trying to approach this with other legal theories. However, no one has mentioned that even this title is hardly original with the RHCPs. A full 15 years earlier, the J. Geils Band did a song titled Californicatin' on their album You're Getting Even While I'm Getting Odd. If the Peppers can sue Showtime over this, the J. Geils Band ought to sue the Peppers


"Californication" is their trademark song to 'Tony? I guess he's never heard "Under the Bridge" or "Give it Away".He should check those two out, they're great songs...

Steve L.

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