Red Hot Chili Peppers sue Showtime over "Californication"

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are suing over use of the name of one of their songs. Here's why they should lose.

I really like the song "Californication," but it's not an enforceable trademark for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, no matter what this lawsuit against Showtime says:

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.

I think people up in Oregon, for one, might beg to differ.

I remember hearing people use the word "Californication" often in conversations when I used to travel up there in 1997 - 1998 on business. It was used to describe the increased home prices and social ills Californians brought with them after cashing out of California and moving north. Indeed, the show's creator is apparently from Oregon and cites this in his defense.

Regardless, I highly doubt many people are going to confuse a TV show with a song. The RHCP should probably get back "under the bridge" or seek "higher ground."

Via Slashdot's Firehose.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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