Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Signature CD?

By Evan Rytlewski
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That's like calling it David Duchovny's siganture show... The big news today: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing Showtime over the title of their David Duchovny series "Californication." The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Californication is the signature CD, video and song of the band's career, and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right," the band's lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, said in a statement … The suit seeks a permanent injunction barring Showtime and the other defendants from using the title "Californication" for the show, damages and restitution and disgorgement of all profits derived by the defendants. The craziest part of the story isn't even that the Peppers are seeking all of the profits from the show, every last dime (this probably explains why the band waited so long to launch their suit; they wanted to wait until it had profits they could claim), but that Kiedis considers "Californication" the band's signature song. Signature album? Perhaps. It's certainly their best selling album, and it yielded all kinds of hit singles for them. It also marked the transition from their early hard funk to a softer, more subdued radio rock, setting the stage for their subsequent albums. It's the album that proved their staying power. But signature song? Really? Is there any doubt that "Under the Bridge" deserves that honor? It was their first huge hit, their highest charting single, and also a song that laid out the "downtrodden druggie with a big heart" template that dominated Californication.
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